Adidas brand to take over as NHL supplier from Reebok in 2017

Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:37am EDT
 
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BERLIN, Sept 16 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Adidas has struck a seven-year partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) starting in 2017, taking over from its own Reebok subsidiary, as it seeks to challenge rival Nike in top North American sports.

Adidas also said it planned to sign more high profile NHL players after it agreed a sponsorship with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. It did not provide any financial details for the deals in a statement on Wednesday.

Adidas said it would supply on-ice uniforms as well as licensed apparel and headwear for the NHL. It will also provide jerseys for the eight-team World Cup of Hockey tournament to be played in Canada next September.

The NHL agreement comes just days after Adidas signed a multi-year partnership with National Football League (NFL) quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, the current holder of the NFL's most valuable player award.

It also announced this week that it would become the official outfitter of the Canadian Football League, taking over another partnership currently held by Reebok.

Adidas is increasing marketing spending in North America as it tries to reverse a steady decline in market share, slipping last year into third place in the U.S. market behind Nike and fast-growing Under Armour.

However, it lost an outfitting contract with the National Basketball Association to Nike earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Adidas has been repositioning Reebok, which it acquired in 2006, away from team sports and back towards the brand's fitness roots. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Keith Weir)