English Premier League football club Chelsea has today (Friday) announced that Stamford Bridge will be 5G-enabled as part of its new shirt sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Three.

Three was today revealed as Chelsea’s new main sponsor, succeeding Japanese tyre manufacturer Yokohama from the 2020-21 season. A three-year contract has been signed which will run through to the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Three’s logo will appear on the front of all of Chelsea’s team shirts. Yokohama is currently in the final season of a five-year deal worth £200m (€237.5m/$261.9m) and Three’s financial backing is reported to be in a similar £40m per season bracket.

Three has grown from being the UK’s first 3G-only network in 2003 to having the UK’s leading 5G spectrum holdings with more than the rest of the industry combined. It launched 5G services in 2019 and will ensure Stamford Bridge is 5G-enabled within the first year of the partnership.

Chelsea chief executive Guy Laurence said: “Mobile technology has revolutionised the way football clubs and supporters interact with each other which makes Chelsea FC and Three such natural partners.

“We have a social media following of over 100 million and the official app, The 5th Stand, has had nearly four million downloads. We stream live women’s and academy football with men’s first team highlights available soon after matches.

“It truly is an area from which regular fans are benefitting and as communications technology develops in the coming years, Three will be at the forefront of the advances with the exciting roll out of 5G networks, helping to enhance and expand the experience of being a Chelsea supporter in the modern digital age.”

Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, added: “Chelsea FC is many teams in one club – and it is important to us that this sponsorship covers not only the men’s team, but also the women’s and the academy as well. Three UK has enough 5G spectrum to put us in the top 10 holdings in the world and give our customers the very best 5G service, and we want to be with the team that can drive that winning message over the next few years.”

The Three deal was announced just hours after it was confirmed that Yokohama’s shirt sponsorship would end at the conclusion of the current season. However, the company has extended its association with the London club by continuing as its official tyre partner.