When Paris Saint-Germain gathered their new assets for the coming seasons last summer, their collaboration with Nike’s Jordan clothing line was already seen as a marketing coup. The creation of their third kit, a black and white classic, was an unprecedented move. For the reknowned Jordan brand logo replaced Nike’s famously-present Swoosh on the clothing. What could have ended up as as a well-intended, yet maybe misguided measure, has indeed helped the club – or rather the brand – PSG flourish. For the first time they’re on course to sell over a million shirts per season as a 470 per cent rise in sales in the US market makes them a fashionable choice over there.
Big personalities make for massive sales
In modern football, kit deals have become an invaluable source for income. First of all, we have the sponsoring, which earns clubs, especially the big ones playing in the Champions League, tens of millions per season. Even more so, since sleeve sponsors started to take over. Furthermore, main sponsors are prepared to pay lager sums with every new sponsorship which opens up opportunities. PSG, in order to comply with UEFA Financial Fairplay, will change the long-lasting Fly Emirates on their chest from next season on. The hotel chain Accor will see its Accor Live Limitless initiative represented in the letters ALL on the french outfit’s chest – and will reportedly pay close to 50 million Euro per season for that.
Apart from sponsorships, selling shirts is, of course, a steady source for revenue. And it takes no wonder that superstars help reach super numbers when it comes to shirt sales. PSG’s policy of buying big in the transfer market pays off in that context, too. The arrivals of Neymar and Mbappé, joining the likes of Cavani, Veratti or Di Maria, have taken those shirt sales to another level. According to Marca, kit sales have increased 80 per cent last season compared to two years back and will grow even more this time. Before the investment from PSG’s current owners, the club sold only about 80.000 kits a season. So the influence of Neymar and Mbappé, who are also two of the most followed people on Instagram, is clear to see. Another confirmation of this effect are numbers related to Juventus Turin’s shirt sales this season, now that they have Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks. As Sportskeeda report – referring to Tuttorsport –, the Old Lady made 26,51 million Euro in the first half of this season with product sales and licences. At the same time last season, without Ronaldo, the amount was 14,56 million.
PSG X Jordan goes beyond football to strengthen the brand
The motto for the Paris Saint-Germain meets Nike Jordan line is closely related to a celebrity-centred approach. Although a lot of people these days might be more familiar with Nike’s Air Jordan boots than with Michael Jordan himself. Anyway, getting the Nike Jordan brand on board was a shrewd move for PSG. As SportsPro Media report, they will hit one million shirt sales for the first time ever. Merging their yearly expanding football brand, with its superstars on the pitch, Al-Khelaifi’s ongoing investment and their growing number of domestic titles, with something more of a lifestyle and fashion brand has certainly promoted those Champions League shirts to a level where more people will buy and wear it. Even if they’re not that much into football. Because a lot of media icons have already sported the wear, for example NBA star Draymond Green or even Justin Timberlake.
In the US alone, PSG have recorded 470 per cent! more sales of wear of their Nike Jordan line. 40.000 shirts are said to have been sold the weekend after the release.
And PSG are clever enough not to breach a market with unidimensional clothing. Thus, their Champions League shirt is available both in black and white; so hardcore fans can purchase them both. And with prices of 85 and 140 Euro respectively, that will gain them some revenue for sure. The whole clothing range has much more to offer, though. Basketball shirts, which are a proven asset in modern lifestyle, especially for some musicians, jackets, the famous Nike Air shoes, caps and what have you.
According to Die WELT, they offer around 90 products and Nike, Jordan and PSG expect to make at least 200 million Euro per year with that line, which will be split between them.
Native brand collaboration cuts it
What PSG have done really well with their Jordan branding is the native way in which the Nike brand was adopted. For the Michael Jordan reminiscence, which is obviously the brand’s logo, does replace Nike’s Swoosh while it strongly resembles the depiction of the Eiffel Tower in PSG’s logo consequently on the shirt. Some might say it’s a bit of a long shot, but it certainly offers the impression of a more native branding approach – as it perfectly reflects the two brands joining forces on the actual kits and all the other products. While some football fans still see PSG as something of a parvenu – whose economical goals will overshadow the club’s and footballing tradition –, the success of that marketing stroke speaks for itself.
Fashion team. It will take long before they win the Champions league!— matt ashi❤?? (@MattAshi1) 13. September 2018
However, their unlucky, unexpected and premature exit from the Champions League this season will have cost them some money. And probably will have dented the growing shirt sales curve a bit. It might take time before any football fan can accept these strategies. We’ve come to the days, though, when Michael Jordan, somehow, has become a great acquisition for the football club Paris Saint-Germain. And it’s not a bad idea for other big clubs to copy such cooperations in order to transfer their brand into modern lifestyle. Not every sports traditionalist will like it, yet, every club sales director will. And it might eventually pay for new players, too – who can bolster shirt sales themselves.