The adidas Group and the National Basketball Association have signed an 11-year strategic global merchandising partnership that will make the adidas brand the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (D-League) beginning with the 2006-07 NBA season.

The new merchandising relationship with adidas, a marketing partner of the NBA since 2002, comes as a result of the Group’s January 2006 acquisition of Reebok International Ltd., the NBA’s exclusive uniform and apparel provider since 2001 and includes rights to sell apparel as well as casual and performance footwear in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. The Reebok brand will continue to be a global marketing partner of the NBA and will maintain the ability to create NBA branded footwear.

“As part of the Reebok integration we as a Group made this strategic decision, which we believe will significantly help us to immediately increase the visibility of adidas as a sport performance brand in the U.S.,” said adidas Group Chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer. “In the long term this new 11-year partnership has the power to make the NBA and adidas synonymous in basketball.

adidas will design, manufacture, and market products for a wide assortment of unique NBA apparel collections utilizing the latest fabrics and technology featured in adidas branded apparel and footwear.”

adidas and the NBA will also team up at retail with an increased adidas presence at the world’s only NBA Store, on Fifth Avenue in New York City, by creating an adidas-NBA concept shop that will be the prototype for additional retail development around the world. adidas will also sell NBA products throughout its retail locations around the world including the 2,100 adidas franchise stores in China.

“The adidas brand is recognized for excellence in sports heritage and performance on a global basis,” NBA Commissioner David Stern commented. “NBA and adidas branded apparel and footwear will be available to even more fans around the world continuing our effort to expand the league’s accessibility to anywhere fans can dribble a ball or watch a basketball game.”

“This partnership deepens our relationship with a sports league that continues to soar in global popularity,” added Erich Stamminger, President and CEO of the adidas brand. “We are building a foundation on which we can grow the sport of basketball globally.”

adidas and the NBA plan to support the partnership through an integrated mix of global marketing and media initiatives, including NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports in 2006 and 2007, as well as grassroots events and branded media programs throughout the 215 countries in which the league distributes content.

In other adidas news, during an investor conference in London, adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said tha he expects net income to increase in the “double-digits” for the next three years, and by at least 20% in 2007. Hainer also expects a annual cost savings from the adidas – Reebok integration to be €175 million ($212 million), up from €125 million ($151 million).