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Real Madrid agree deal for tech giant HP to be first-ever sleeve sponsor

Real Madrid have reached an agreement with HP for the American technology giant to become their first-ever sleeve sponsor.

The La Liga club teased the deal on social media on Thursday with a video showing a desk and computer in the middle of the Santiago Bernabeu pitch and a person typing the word ‘New’. It was posted with the caption ‘02/02/2024’.

Many fans speculated it could be to do with the announcement of a signing such as Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe — in December The Athletic reported that Madrid would make a fresh approach for the France international forward and he knows the terms Los Blancos are prepared to offer him — but instead the club will announce the HP deal on Friday.

The contract with the tech company will be long-term although the club declined to give specific details, saying they would release more information tomorrow. Reports in Spain suggested it would be worth €70million ($75.7m; £59.7m) per season, although this was denied to The Athletic by sources close to the deal while a club source said the overall deal would not reach €50m. These sources asked to remain anonymous to protect relationships.

The HP partnership, according to those close to the deal, would be worth far less than those Madrid have with Adidas and Fly Emirates.

It closes the door on a possible sponsorship deal with HP’s rival Apple. In September, The Athletic reported that Madrid were keen on a partnership with the company after a visit from its chief executive Tim Cook to their headquarters in Valdebebas. Apple also produced a documentary on their 14th Champions League/European Cup triumph in 2022. Madrid previously had a deal with Microsoft for the “digital transformation” of the club from 2014-2018.

Madrid’s two ‘main sponsors’ are kit manufacturer Adidas and their front-of-shirt sponsor Fly Emirates, but this is the first time they will carry a company’s logo on their sleeve.

They have other categories for ‘global sponsors’ — 15 brands, which include Mahou, Visit Dubai and BMW — and ‘regional sponsors’ — 10 brands, which include the bank Unicaja, Playstation, gambling company Codere and health service Sanitas.

Emirates signed a deal with Madrid in 2011 and became their front-of-shirt sponsor two years later. In 2022, the partnership was renewed until 2026 for a reported €70m per year. Adidas have been Madrid’s kit provider since 1998 and that deal was renewed until 2028 for a reported €120m per year in 2019.

(Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

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