Nike hot foots Portugal extension as trans-Atlantic battle with Adidas heats up

By Mark Baber

October 12 – Nike and the Portuguese Football Federation have extended their long-term partnership until 2024. No value was announced for the deal.

“The partnership, in its twentieth year, will see Nike continue to design and supply apparel to the twenty-five football, futsal and beach football teams, as well as support the continued growth of the women’s game,” said Nike.

Bert Hoyt, VP/GM, Nike EMEA commented: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the FPF. Nike Football will continue to provide the most innovative football kits and we look forward to continued success together.”

Portuguese media highlighted the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo, whilst playing for Real Madrid, wears the kit of Adidas – Nike’s chief competitor – and Nike would have been reluctant to see CR7 wearing an Adidas national team kit. According to Hookit, Ronaldo is calculated to have generated $500 million in value for Nike in 2016.

Fernando Gomes, president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) used the renewal to highlight Portugal’s success in football saying: “It has been twenty years since Nike started collaborating with the FPF. Since then, the first team has qualified for ten consecutive final stages, including next summer’s tournament in Russia.”

He continued: “In France, Portugal became the first Nike National team to become European champion, is twice under-17 Champion and Beach Football World and European Champion,” adding “the team has played European final matches in different categories, including European finals in women’s football.”

According to analysts at Piper Jaffray, Adidas and smaller brands have been making significant gains in popularity amongst US teens, with Adidas’ capture of second place amongst US sport footwear (at the expense of Nike Jordan) considered especially significant.

Nike’s new deal with Portugal shows the world’s preeminent company is happy to continue to take the battle against Adidas to the German company’s strongest market – soccer in Europe – just as it is coming under attack from Adidas in US sports in its home market.

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