Chelsea have signed a deal worth £20m per year for cryptocurrency brand WhaleFin to become their new sleeve sponsor from the 2022/23 season, while they are also considering replacing main shirt sponsor Three.
The Blues announced a partnership with Singapore-based Amber Group on Thursday, who own the digital asset platform WhaleFin.
WhaleFin's logo, which features a blue whale design, will adorn the sleeves of both the men's and women's teams from the start of next season, replacing Korean car manufacturer Hyundai after four years.
Chelsea are currently operating under government sanctions which would mean they would be unable to negotiate such a deal at present. However, according to Sky News, the contracts were signed in January, long before the measures were imposed on owner Roman Abramovich and his prized asset.
Hyundai actually suspended their sponsorship once the sanctions were announced, although their logo has still been visible on Chelsea's sleeves due to logistical issues.
Speaking upon the announcement of the WhaleFin agreement, Chelsea chief executive Guy Laurence said: "This is a hugely exciting partnership for the club, which aligns us with one of the most advanced digital asset companies in the world.
"As Amber Group continue to expand coverage of their platform globally, they will now have the ability to not only speak to the hundreds of millions of loyal Chelsea fans around the globe but also be seen by the billions who tune into the Premier League each season."
Amber Group CEO Michael Wu added: "Our partnership with Chelsea FC is a watershed moment as we embark on the next stage of our growth globally. With the beautiful game’s ability to rally a global audience regardless of culture, language and nationality, we are excited to showcase the full potential of digital assets to an international audience.
"With a storied club history backed by a world-class team, Chelsea FC is a class act that we are proud to partner with, as we bring digitisation and crypto finance to global users. We are thrilled to be associated with one of the best teams in the English Premier League, and we look forward to unlocking new sporting experiences for football fans around the world."
This is Chelsea's first foray into the world of crypto, with Liverpool linked with a similar deal. Manchester United have already announced a partnership with blockchain group Tezos, whose name is emblazoned on their training gear.
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According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are also considering replacing their main shirt sponsor, Three. The mobile network also suspended its sponsorship of the club but its logo has continued to adorn the front of the players' shirts.
There is one year remaining on Three's three-year contract with Chelsea and it is not abnormal for a leading club to seek an even more lucrative agreement.
It remains to be seen whether Three will see out the remaining year of their contract or be replaced immediately.
Source : 90min