Newspaper article International New York Times

Setting a Stage for Its Rivals, Adidas Won't Chase a New N.B.A. Contract

Newspaper article International New York Times

Setting a Stage for Its Rivals, Adidas Won't Chase a New N.B.A. Contract

Article excerpt

Adidas said that it would not bid for a new contract with the N.B.A. when its deal expires in 2017, letting slip a high-profile partnership.

Adidas has said it will not bid for a new contract with the N.B.A. when its deal expires in 2017, letting slip a high-profile partnership that has allowed it to outfit some of the top athletes in the United States.

According to a person familiar with the situation, the league informed Adidas last week that it was going to open up the bidding to other companies, and the N.B.A. is expected to announce a new partner by mid-April. The current deal ends after the 2016-17 season.

Adidas's withdrawal from the bidding on Monday could set the stage for a showdown between its archrivals, Nike and Under Armour, over the right to supply the league with its jerseys. Adidas, a German sportswear maker, paid about $400 million for its current 11- year deal to be the league's official uniform and apparel supplier, but the new contract is set to be worth significantly more, analysts said.

The move would also leave Adidas without a major sports league contract even as it seeks to turn around its United States business. Adidas has struggled to maintain market share in the face of a resurgent Nike, as well as Under Armour, a rising star that overtook Adidas in United States sportswear sales last year. Reebok, which Adidas acquired in 2006, still holds a contract to supply uniforms to the N.H.L.

"It's an enormously high-profile license," Ira Mayer, a consultant to the licensing business and former owner of the trade journal The Licensing Letter, said of the N.B.A. license. "But once they did the math, it looked like it was going to be expensive."

He added, "I've got to think that given that the rest of the business has not been doing well, the pressure is that much greater to make sure this would have been a deal that made sense. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.