Adidas is a massive global company that, in current years, has been acquiring more and more lucrative sponsorship deals. They are perhaps more prevalent in the European market, but they are slowly making their way into North America.
A key factor in Adidas’ dominance was the purchase of Reebok in 2006, the company that led the North American sports market for many years.
With soccer being the world’s most popular sport, it’s also one of the most profitable. The top five most valuable soccer teams in the world according to Forbes are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.
Adidas has sponsorship deals with three of those five teams, recently replacing Nike in supplying English giants Manchester United’s kits.
Adidas also has a large partnership with FIFA, begun in 1970 and due to continue into 2030. It is one of the longest partnerships in the history of modern sports. As a result, Adidas supplies all the match balls and its logo is seen everywhere around World Cup stadiums.
Another high-profile deal, up in 2017, is with UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), which includes the UEFA European Championships, the UEFA Champions League, and the UEFA Europa League. The Champions League is known for showcasing perhaps the best soccer on earth, and the best of the best are using Adidas.
They also sponsor a few big-name national teams, including Germany, Spain, and Argentina. Adidas is currently paying the German soccer association a whopping 20 million euros to supply their kits.
North American Invasion
In recent months, we have seen Adidas ink deals with both the CFL and the NHL, with the three stripes coming to the CFL next year and the NHL beginning in 2017-18.
The speculation of jersey ads have also come as a result of Adidas’ sponsorship in the NHL – an idea most hockey traditionalists scoff at. Not to worry though, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in an article with the Globe and Mail that there will be no jersey sponsors when Adidas takes over.
Adidas managed to get a sponsorship deal with one of the brightest young stars in the NHL as well, in Connor McDavid. Previously not known for their hockey involvement, it appears that Adidas is slowly taking the NHL by storm.
Their main competitor has been Nike, which has a sponsorship deal with the NFL, not to mention an upcoming eight-year, USD$1 billion deal with the NBA set to start in 2017-2018. Those are perhaps more lucrative deals to have, as both leagues are bigger in the U.S. than the NHL, but Adidas still has their foot in the door in North America.
Adidas is also making moves in the world of college football, recently announcing deals with Louisiana Tech and East Carolina along with an extension with North Carolina. They also currently hold four sponsorship deals with teams currently in the Big Ten. In a market typically dominated by Nike, Adidas is making some noise.
The Adidas North American takeover is slowly happening, and in the coming years we are likely to see more and more Adidas logos popping up.