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Lewis Silkin advises Three on groundbreaking commercial partnership with Chelsea FC

04 February 2020

Leading law firm Lewis Silkin LLP has advised global telecommunications and internet service provider Three on a new partnership with Chelsea Football Club, one of the world’s most successful football clubs and reigning Europa League champions, that will see Three become one of the London club’s main sponsors.

As part of the deal, Three, a long-standing client of Lewis Silkin, will become the primary shirt sponsor of Chelsea FC’s men’s, women’s and youth teams. The agreement will also break new ground from a technological standpoint and see Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC’s stadium, become 5G-enabled during the first year of the partnership. In addition to securing these exclusive rights, the deal will provide Three with a variety of additional rights, including access to players as well as opportunities to leverage Three’s market leading 5G assets. 

The commercial agreement will run as a three-year deal from the start of the 2020/21 season. Chelsea FC’s current shirt sponsor, Yokohama Tyres, will continue as official tyre partner after the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.

Alex Kelham, partner and joint-head of the Sports Business Group at Lewis Silkin, led the firm’s advisory work for Three on the agreement. Lewis Silkin acts for brands on commercial matters in the sports sector as well as for clubs, events and other sports rights owners across a wide range of sports.

Alex Kelham, Partner at Lewis Silkin, commented:
“It was a real pleasure working alongside Three’s in-house legal and commercial team to get this deal done. The negotiations were intense and required a real team effort to ensure the sponsorship was secured. We are delighted to have assisted Three and hope they enjoy a long and successful partnership with Chelsea FC.”

Giles Crown, Joint Managing Partner at Lewis Silkin, said:
“Brands and sporting organisations are increasingly looking to agree to novel deals that include a technological element, as demonstrated by this partnership between Three and Chelsea FC, and Lewis Silkin’s position as a leading firm in sectors as diverse as sports, tech, media and advertising allows us to play a leading role in striking such innovative commercial agreements.
“Brokering such commercially significant agreements between two world-famous brands only goes further to demonstrate Lewis Silkin’s clout in the sports business sector.”

Justin Bass, Director of Legal & External Affairs at Three, added:
“This is an exciting partnership for Three and Lewis Silkin’s industry leading expertise in sports sponsorship was invaluable for Three in helping us achieve a successful outcome.”


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