Yokohama have been the shirt sponsors of Chelsea since February of 2015. The Japanese tyre company pay Chelsea £40 million per year for the privilege, which made it the second-most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal behind Manchester United’s £50 million per year contract with Chevrolet.
The deal is set to expire in 2020, which means that a new shirt sponsor of Chelsea is a very high possibility.
What Is Yokohama?
Yokohama is a Japanese tyre company based in Tokyo. It was founded in 1917 and celebrated its 100th year anniversary of tyre manufacturing just two years ago. The company employs over 20,000 people in more than 120 countries around the world.
The company also supplies its technology for construction, marine and aerospace products.
In spite of its Japanese foundations, Yokohama has a strong presence in the United States which has been built over decades, beginning in 1969.
The company currently has two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. in Salem, Virginia and West Point, Mississippi.
Previous Chelsea Shirt Sponsorships
Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea in 2003 heralded a new era in West London. Abramovich’s money turned Chelsea into a world football powerhouse in a very short period of time.
For a number of years, very, very few clubs had the means to match Chelsea’s spending power.
Of course, nowadays, Chelsea are one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but it wasn’t always like that.
Shirt sponsorship of Chelsea began all the way back in the 1983-4 season. That was a time when Chelsea were playing their football in the equivalent of the Championship against teams like Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town and Carlisle United.
The company on the famous blue shirt of Chelsea has changed many times over the subsequent years.
Perhaps you remember the Coors beer days of Gianluca Viali, Gianfranco Zola and Ruud Gullit or the Autoglass years of Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Marcel Desailly.
Here is the full list of every single Chelsea shirt sponsor there has ever been:
- Gulf Air
- Grange Farms
- Bai Lin Tea
- Commodore International
- Coors Beer
- Samsung Mobile
Ultimately, nobody can have any real idea who the next shirt sponsor of Chelsea will be. But you can rest assured that the name on the Chelsea shirt will be a huge brand, and the signed agreement will involve an astronomical amount of money.
Shirt sponsorships are not the only form of sponsorship for football clubs, far from it. The big football clubs are sponsored by many different brands in a wide range of industries.
One industry that has long established sponsorship links with football is gambling. There are many gambling brands which sponsor football clubs in some form.
At the time of writing, William Hill is the betting partner of Chelsea. But that is not to say that other gambling brands such as Fable Casino might not strike some sort of sponsorship with Chelsea in the future. Stay tuned!