November 20, 2015 / 11:32 PM / 4 years ago

Soccer-River sign mega extension to kit sponsorship deal

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 20 (Reuters) - South American champions River Plate have signed a deal unprecedented in Argentine soccer with sportswear giant Adidas that will bring the club $10 million a year until 2021.

The deal puts River, who won their third Libertadores Cup this year, at the top of the Argentine game in terms of revenue thanks to two years of growth under the club presidency of Rodolfo D’Onofrio.

“The contract we had with Adidas was until 2018 and it has been extended until 2021 for 60 million dollars,” River’s marketing president Luis Landoni told Reuters on Friday.

“The contract was increased by 70 percent and approved at a board meeting and ratified by a (club) members’ assembly,” he said.

Adidas will continue to supply the team with their distictive white shirts with a red diagonal band in a deal that now surpasses the $8 million one that arch-rivals Boca Juniors have with sportswear company Nike.

“The 10 million dollars a year are for sponsorship, bonuses and prizes for objectives achieved by the team,” Landoni said.

Former club president Daniel Passarella, who as captain and coach had led River to a string of titles, ran the club down financially during a four-year tenure that ended in December 2013 and was marked by relegation in June 2011.

Never had River, a club that has produced reams of Argentine internationals and launched the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Norberto Alonso and Passarella to greatness, fallen so low.

Passarella, who managed to preside over River’s return to the first division a year later, did not run for a second term.

Businessman D’Onofrio, whom he had pipped to the post in the 2009 election, won the election and has set about putting River back on a solid footing.

A successful 18 months comes to a head in December when River, who won the league title and the region’s second club competition, the Copa Sudamericana last year, play at the Club World Cup in Japan targeting a possible final against Barcelona. (Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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