UEFA Competitions Matchballs: Momentum or Revolution?

Howdy everybody,
Today, UEFA sent an invitation to submit offers (ISO) to all sporting goods companies interested in the rights to supply the official match ball of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup. adidas is the official match ball supplier for these competitions until end of season 2011/2012.

The 3-stripes is the official Champions League match ball supplier since 2000 and it will be interested to notice whether there will be a momentum or a revolution. 4 days ago, adidas unveiled its “Route 2015 strategic plan” to its shareholders. The plan aims at growing the business of the entire adidas Group compared to the expected 2010 results by 45% to 50% to € 17 billion in 2015.

Football is the driving category (adidas heart and soul…) of the brand, and as such, must maintain strong business links with european football competitions, especially the lucrative UEFA Champions League for many reasons.

First of all, the iconic finale matchball is stamped adidas for 10 years and has become an adidas success story although it features the starball which is the Champions League well known logo. Secondly, adidas will want to keep its football ownership, and supplying matchballs to major european competitions is key.

However, it’s an ongoing two horse race, and Nike will want to grab more presence in european football. We ought to keep in mind that the swoosh if the official matchball supplier of the Barclays Premier League, La Liga BBVA and the Italian Serie A TIM. I don’t think they will stop half way, and shall come up with a significant offer to TEAM Marketing by Thursday 25 November, at 17.00CET.

So fasten your seatbelts, and get ready to watch either a momentum with adidas keeping on supplying official matchballs to UEFA competitons or a revolution in football with Nike stepping in and becoming for the first time the official UEFA match ball supplier. As Herbert Hainer (adidas CEO) said himself: “it’s a global two horse race”.

Karl Lusbec

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