August 3 – Adidas has signed a record breaking six year renewal with Major League Soccer reckoned to be worth more than $700 million, according to reports.
“Major League Soccer has built a legacy with adidas that has been essential in the rise of our league,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
“Adidas has been a major collaborator with us since the inception of MLS, and we are proud that our partnership with this globally-respected brand will continue to enhance the growth of the game in North America for many more years.”
Garber said that the deal is the league’s largest commercial partnership ever, eclipsing the league’s TV contracts with Fox, ESPN and Univision who pay a combined $90 million annually. The Adidas deal is worth about $117 million – up from the previous $25 million a season deal, according to Forbes magazine.
For that money Adidas is exclusive across the league, outfitting each of the 22 teams and their affiliates with teams strips, footwear, training gear and “sideline appareil”. Adidas will also provide the league’s official match ball.
Adidas has been a part of the MLS since it began in 1996, agreening its first league-wide deal in 2006, and extending it in 2010. As Adidas’ deal has expanded so has the league, which now has 22 teams and will grow to 24 next season.
The new deal also comes with extended marketing activation including increased investment in the Generation Adidas youth development programme as well as the creation of a local content network – the ‘Creator’s Network’ – to push the brand closer to fans through local and national editorial content.
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