Saints have announced a record-breaking sponsorship deal with Chinese start-up LD Sports.

The deal, which the Daily Echo understands is comfortably the most lucrative in the club’s history, will see LD Sports on the front of the club’s shirts for the next three years.

LD Sports has not yet officially launched but will be a sports content, marketing and entertainment platform in China.

The club’s previous title sponsors, Virgin Media, have already confirmed they will have their logo on the sleeves of the first team kits from next season.

Saints had been weighing up the possibility of accepting a lucrative sponsorship deal from a betting company but felt uncomfortable with the moral implications of such a move.

This deal is a clear nod to Saints’ attempts to broaden their appeal in China under the ownership of Gao Jisheng.

The Daily Echo has been told LD Sports is not linked to Gao or Lander Sports.

A Saints statement said: “Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce a three-year agreement with LD Sports as its new front-of-shirt partner, in what represents the biggest sponsorship deal in the club’s history.

“LD Sports is a brand new sports content, marketing and entertainment platform, which is launching this summer for the Chinese market, and, as Main Club Sponsor, its logo will now take pride of place on the first-team’s kits through to the end of the of the 2021/22 campaign.

“Additionally, the deal will also see it displayed on the front of the Under-23s’ and Under-18s’ shirts, along with the various squads’ training wear.

“As well as providing exposure for LD Sports on the front of its shirts, the partnership will also see the club help to establish and develop the company’s brand and presence in China.

“The deal is representative of Southampton’s growing presence and reputation in the country, which has increased considerably following the arrival of majority shareholder Mr Gao in August 2017.

“Already, Saints have embarked on a successful pre-season trip to China, spending more than two weeks there last summer, while they will visit Macau this July as part of their preparations for the new Premier League campaign.

“Southampton Football Club’s Commercial Director, David Thomas, commented: “We are delighted LD Sports has chosen a partnership with Southampton Football Club as a platform to help launch their brand this summer.

“It’s an exciting challenge, and we are looking forward to using our growing credentials and awareness in China, as well as our content and digital marketing expertise, to help the brand achieve its business objectives over the next three years.”

“Justin Tan, Business Development Manager at LD Sports, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Southampton Football Club.

“It is an exciting development for LD Sports, which will help us make a significant impact with our launch this summer and also provide us with a platform from which to grow and engage our fanbase across the world.

“We strongly believe this partnership will be a prosperous and beneficial one for both parties, and we are looking forward to the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season with Southampton.”

“LD Sports will be launching its new site,, later this summer, with full details to follow in due course.”