North America’s National Hockey League has agreed a long-term kit deal with sportswear giant Adidas that could allow for teams to display sponsors on their playing jerseys, according to Canadian broadcaster TSN.
Adidas will reportedly take over the contract to make kits for the 30 NHL franchises from the 2017-18 season, taking over from its affiliated brand Reebok. According to TSN, Adidas overcame rival bids from Under Armour and Bauer Hockey for the NHL contract.
Reebok currently pays the league $35m (€31.75m) per season and TSN understands that Adidas will double this figure under the new terms that are set to be formally announced midway through next month, when it will be clarified whether the NHL takes a cut of revenue from jersey sales or has entered into a right-fee partnership with the manufacturer.
Adidas could seek to place its iconic three-stripe trademark on jerseys in light of the significant financial outlay, while TSN said a change in manufacturer could give the NHL the opportunity to introduce kit sponsorship.
The issue was discussed by NHL team presidents at a meeting in New York last year, where they estimated each team could bring in $4m in extra revenue per-season with the help of jersey sponsorship.
News of Adidas’ partnership with the NHL comes less than six months after it stated it would focus on new products and individual player endorsements on the back of failing to extend its 11-year association with the NBA basketball league.
Nike took on the NBA contract in June under an eight-year deal that will run from the 2017-18 campaign to the end of the 2024-25 season.
Earlier this year, Adidas signed up Connor McDavid of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers as a brand ambassador.