Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Nike to replace Adidas as NBA’s apparel provider

NY Times News Service

Nike is to replace Adidas, the NBA’s official provider of on-court apparel, in the 2017-2018 season with an eight-year deal that is to allow it to manufacture authentic and replica jerseys for retail markets.

The agreement, which was announced on Wednesday, is worth about US$1 billion, more than double the value of Adidas’ deal, according to an executive briefed on the details of the contract, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Adidas’ deal was originally for US$400 million across 11 years, but was amended over the years to be worth more.

The league said the deal would let Nike put its logo on uniforms — a first for its official apparel maker — but that it would not count as uniform advertising.

The league has plans, but no timetable, for putting ads on uniforms. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said that uniform advertising is inevitable.

In a statement, Silver said that Nike would be “instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally, while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and on-court products.”

Nike president Mark Parker said its offerings — under the Nike, Jordan and Converse names — are among the “most connected in the world.”

Under its contract, Nike will be able to sell T-shirts, shorts, headwear, sweatshirts and socks, and authentic and Swingman replica jerseys.

Ira Mayer, a consultant to various businesses in the licensing industry and the former owner of the Licensing Letter, a trade journal, estimated that the deal would probably bring Nike about US$1.5 billion annually in retail sales.

“Nike’s a global company and the NBA has probably been the most aggressive of all the leagues in terms of going international,” he said. “So it’s a great fit.”

Nike’s relationship with the league dates to 1992, when it became a global marketing partner; five years later, it became a marketing partner to the WNBA.

Adidas announced in March that it would not renew its deal with the league.

“We are reimagining and reshaping our business and have evolved our strategy to look at new, cutting-edge ways to drive our brand and support our business over the long-term,” the company said.

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