16 Sep Adidas to Take Over NHL Uniform Rights from Reebok
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Adidas announced a seven-year partnership in which Adidas will become the authentic outfitter of on-ice uniforms as well as an official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear for the League starting with the 2017-18 season. The Adidas Group-owned CCM will remain an official on-ice equipment supplier, delivering world-class product for NHL players, including sticks, skates, helmets, gloves, and goal-tending gear.
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), NHL ,and Adidas also announced a partnership for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in which Adidas becomes the exclusive outfitter of both authentic and replica jerseys for the eight-team tournament next September. The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 to October 1, 2016 and be comprised of eight teams – Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden, Team USA, Team Europe, and Team North America. More than 150 NHL players will compete in a best-on-best international hockey championship.
“Teaming up with Adidas continues our strategy of aligning with major partners who share our vision for growing the game and putting innovation at the forefront of everything we do for our players and fans,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “As an iconic performance brand with global reach, Adidas is the perfect partner for us. With the World Cup of Hockey next year and the launch of our new partnership coinciding with our Centennial Celebration in 2017, there could not be a more appropriate time for us to take our longstanding relationship to new heights.”
“Adidas will be instrumental in providing leading technology to produce hockey jerseys for the world’s best hockey players, while also serving our growing global fan base with innovative products,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. “We look forward to partnering with the creative minds at Adidas who collectively share our focus on growing the game of hockey around the world.”
The Adidas Group and the NHL have a successful, longstanding relationship through the League’s existing partnership with Reebok. This new partnership allows Adidas to leverage its offerings as a leading sports brand and collaborate with one of the world’s most innovative sports leagues. The partnership will allow Reebok to continue to focus on and invest in strengthening its positioning as a leading fitness brand.
As part of its new strategic business plan, Adidas is aggressively refocusing its resources to become hyper-relevant in America by increasing its presence in key U.S. sports. With hockey as the leading sport in Canada, this partnership will also drive growth for Adidas’ Canadian business.
“This partnership with the NHL is evidence of our comprehensive commitment to the athlete,” said Adidas Group North America President Mark King. “Adding the league to our growing icon portfolio – which includes premier athletes and U.S. league partnerships across football, basketball, and baseball – is just the start for us. Everything we do at Adidas focuses on making athletes faster and we’re ready to bring that attitude to the ice. This is an incredible opportunity to get our most innovative performance products on the world’s best hockey players, on and off the ice, and take the game to the next level.”
The Adidas NHL partnership news comes on the heels of Adidas announcing the signing of Connor McDavid, the number 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Adidas plans to add more top NHL players to its growing roster of professional athletes.
In addition to merchandising rights, the partnership will bring Adidas’ high performance training footwear and apparel to the locker room for every NHL team. At all key NHL events, including the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the NHL All-Star Game, Adidas will connect with fans through largescale brand. To spur growth and excitement in the game, Adidas will work side by side with the NHL on a number of grassroots initiatives.