Athletic’s Shirt Sponsorship Agreement With Kutxabank Set To Expire At The End Of The Season
Since 2008 Athletic have worn sponsorships on shirts with the first partnership being with Petronor. The contract lasted until 2014 when the club entered into an agreement with BBK followed by a four-year deal with Kutxabank, expiring at the end of last season, while also retaining an option to extend it for an addition year.
As reported by Juanma Velasco of Marca, Athletic exercised the option to extend the agreement for one more year as the team has continued to wear the Kutxabank logo this season. Interestingly, there was never an announcement from the club. In fact the Board hasn’t spoke openly about the sponsorship since before the presidential election in December of 2018.
Athletic relationship with Kutxabank, formerly BBK, is strong. The bank has been the club’s financial backer for years and was involved in the project to build the new San Mamés stadium. The San Mamés Barria Society, which combined to construct the stadium, consisted of Athletic, Kutxabank, the Provincial Council of Bilbao, the Bilbao City Council, and the Basque Government.
At the beginning of the sponsorship agreement Athletic brought in €2.2 million per year for wearing the Kutxabank logo which has increased every year including bonuses for meeting competitive goals. With the contract set to expire at the end of the current season Athletic will have a major decision to make. Sponsorships could become less profitable following the current health crisis, but that isn’t expected to be the case with banks.
President Aitor Elizegi has made it a priority to find new revenue streams for the club which could lead Athletic to seek a new sponsor if not satisfied by the revenue that would come by signing a new contract with Kutxabank. There has been talk in the past of selling the naming rights to San Mamés but that club has ruled out that possibility altogether. Athletic’s contract with kit supplies New Balance runs through the 2022-2023 season.