According to the Sports Business Journal, adidas and MLS agreed on extending their partnership until 2018. A new sponsorship deal worth $200 million. Thereby, adidas strengthen its position of official sponsor and gear supplier of the MLS for the 8 years to come.
The MLS and adidas signed their 1st partnership in 1996. Today, adidas and Major League Soccer agreed on an extension to the original extension signed in 2004. This deal, that was meant to run out by the end of 2014, made adidas the official and exclusive athletic sponsor and product supplier for the Major League Soccer. Today, the 3-stripes and the MLS extended the deal to run until 2018.
Both parties were very satisfied with the deal as Patrick Nilsson (President of adidas America) said: “Both of us are feeling really good about the partnership we have had since the start of the MLS and the first deal that we did. … We both felt this was the time to talk this deal out for a longer time frame and for spending the money on the youth development of the game in the U.S”.
From the MLS point of view Don Garber (MLS Commissioner) was thrilled with the agreement as he said: “One of the major reasons Major League Soccer has become one of the top soccer leagues in the world is due to the support and commitment of adidas. They have a clear vision for the sport in North America, and they see MLS as a cornerstone of that vision. Our extension with adidas is a major statement by an internationally respected brand that MLS is increasing in value and that our commitments to stadium construction, strategic expansion, player development and improvement in the overall quality of play are playing dividends.”
There is no disclosure thus far on how the investment is determined, however there will be a strong focus on youth development, grassroots and the football academies. Don Garber said: “The goal will be to make a very direct link between our academies, our reserve league, our youth programs with a lot of the other youth programs going on in this country, adidas can play a very important role in creating that bridge and solidifying all those ties.”
For those familiar with My Football Lounge articles, I mentioned a couple of times that the MLS is positioning the league very smartly and efficiently. Not only numbers do show that American football viewers increased during the World Cup 2010, but the league also attracts football stars which gives it more credibility and global focus.
No doubt that this deal is a milestone for the MLS (and adidas) to strengthen the football appeal in the United States, and increase their chances to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.