French soccer club Olympique Lyonnais is looking to take over a National Women’s Soccer League team, according to reports in France.
The club already has one of the most successful women’s teams in Europe, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
According to L’Equipe, Olympique Lyonnais has been in negotiations with two NWSL teams and it is expected that a deal will be completed in time for the 2020 season.
“It’s a closed league, buying a franchise at a cost, which is not extremely high at the moment, but the value can quickly increase. There is a position to take on the market,” the club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas reportedly said.
It is expected that the team will play in Olympique Lyonnais colors. The club has a partnership with Adidas, but the proposed NWSL affiliate will wear Nike kits following the league’s partnership with the sportswear manufacturer.
LaLiga giants FC Barcelona is also looking to set up a team in the NWSL, but is insisting on a sponsorship exemption to wear Nike kits indefinitely.
“We don’t want to share our brand. We are very protective of the ways we present ourselves. We want to use our crest, our colours and our sponsors. Otherwise this will dilute the brand,” Xavier O’Callaghan, the managing director of the Barcelona New York office, told SportBusiness.
“We have a long-term partnership with Nike and we have to play with Nike. If the NWSL changes to a different brand, then we have a problem,” O’Callaghan said.