Adidas is the official sponsor of the Major League Soccer and also its official matchball supplier. After last year Jabulani, all the MLS teams will be kicking the adidas PRIME beginning of 2012.
Designed exclusively for MLS, the adidas PRIME was created to improve on “accuracy, consistency and performance” under all field and weather conditions, according to adidas. “We worked directly with both field players and goalies to rigorously develop a ball with the truest and most stable flight path,” said adidas’ MLS manager, Ernesto Bruce, in a statement.
The aesthetics of the ball also change and will feature a new panel design, a matte finish designed for a better grip and a graphic look that employs the colors of the MLS logo and elements from the MLS Cup trophy. The new MLS official match ball is available exclusively at the league’s official online store, MLSGear.com.
While Nike strengthens its position in the major european leagues by sponsoring La Liga, Serie A and the English Premier League by supplying matchballs to those 3 leagues, adidas partners with the football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA and the MLS.
Indeed, the 3-stripes are also the official matchball supplier of all UEFA Competitions, and provide footballs to the Champions League and Europa League. In addition, adidas is a FIFA partner and matchball supplier to all FIFA competitions, especially the World Cup since 1970.
So what does that tell us? Well, needless to say that Nike has significantly strengthened its football presence in europe and does not stop there. By penetrating new markets the Beaverton firm keeps on being the adidas’ main competitor.
On the other hand, adidas’ strategy is different. By partnering with UEFA, FIFA and the MLS, the 3-stripes have a privilege position to increase their presence in major european and global competitions such as the Champions League and the World Cups. Adidas is also the matchball supplier of the German Bundesliga.
With the rise of the Middle East in football it will be interesting to see how both firms will position themselves. Needless to point out that the UAE are making football their strongest asset. Acquiring global clubs, hosting the World Cup in 2022 and securing TV rights is just the beginning.