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New Balance inks multimillion-dollar soccer deal with Celtic

Celtic's Scott Brown (left) is challenged by Partick Thistle's James Craigen during their Scottish Premier League soccer match in Glasgow in December.Reuters

New Balance has signed another major soccer sponsorship deal, this time with the Scottish team Celtic, according to the club.

The Boston athletic gear company will supply the team’s jerseys, training clothes, and equipment beginning in the 2015 season. The sponsorship is a five-year multimillion dollar deal, Celtic said in a statement issued Thursday. New Balance could not be immediately reached for comment.

“This is a fantastic global brand that will sit along perfectly with Celtic,” said Peter Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive. “It will be our biggest kit sponsorship deal ever, and we believe it’s the biggest in Scottish football history.”


New Balance, the longtime maker of running shoes, last month announced its entrance into the soccer market and a sponsorship deal with Liverpool Football Club, one of the most famous teams in the sport, that is widely reported to be worth up to $457 million. The company also signed nine prominent soccer players and the teams Stoke City FC, FC Porto, and Sevilla FC. New Balance has not disclosed the financial details of any of the deals.

New Balance is a strong competitor in the running market and has a successful casual shoe business. It expects to post revenue of $3.3 billion for 2014.

The company views the $8 billion soccer market as a way to expand its international reach.

Analysts said New Balance is competing to become the third most competitive brand in soccer, behind giants Nike Inc. and Adidas AG. Together, Nike and Adidas control about 65 percent of the soccer shoe market.

“We want to be on the European stage and also the global stage, which is truly important to us,” said Richard Wright, general manager of New Balance football, in a statement. “Lastly, but certainly not least, Celtic fans are everywhere in the world, and we as a brand we want to be with them and the club hand-in-hand going forward.”


Taryn Luna can be reached at taryn.luna@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @TarynLuna.