NBA's Contract with Adidas Will Not Be Renewed After 2016-17 Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2015

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 4: Adidas / NBA court floor logo at NBA Cares / Adidas Court Refurbishment project during NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports on October 4, 2006, at the LLuisos de Gracia school in Barcelona, Spain. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/Getty Images

It would appear that the NBA's sponsorship relationship with Adidas will be coming to a close.   

Darren Rovell of ESPN passed along news of the announcement:

Adidas announced on Monday that it has decided not to pursue an extension to its official apparel deal with the NBA, which expires at the end of the 2016-17 season.

As Adidas slipped to the third biggest shoe and apparel business in the United States in 2014 -- the brand was surpassed by Under Armour -- the NBA made inquiries about the next deal. With two full seasons left on its current deal, Adidas announced it would pull out of future bidding.

"While we have enjoyed a successful long-term relationship with the league, we continually review our partner agreements to ensure they are meeting our investment and delivering on our brand and business needs," Adidas spokesperson Lauren Lamkin said in a statement, per Rovell.

Matthew Kish of the Portland Business Journal provided more on the company's decision:

Chris Grancio, Adidas' global basketball general manager, said the deal hasn't been as lucrative as hoped. Adidas has been unable to make up lost ground with Nike and its Jordan brand, which account for roughly 96 percent of the basketball shoe business.

"We haven't been able to elevate our brand for the basketball consumer that we're targeting," Grancio said. "We ultimately decided that we would change our investment strategy and invest more in players on the court."

Adidas has been the league's official uniform and apparel supplier since 2006, when the company acquired Reebok, the previous supplier for the NBA.

In January, Commissioner Adam Silver stated his expectations for jerseys in the future, courtesy of Mattias Karen of The Associated Press in January (via NBA.com):

Exactly when it's going to come, I'm not sure, but I do think it's inevitable in our sport.

Mainly because I travel so much and I see the model work so successfully here. I think that as we look to generate other forms of revenue and also as we listen to the marketplace, the companies that are involved with the NBA want to get closer to the game, want to get closer to our players.  

In the present, however, Adidas simply opted not to renew the contract with the league. It remains to be seen which company will take its place, with Nike and Under Armour the likely front-runners, per Kish. "Calls to Nike and Under Armour for comment were not immediately returned," noted Rovell.

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