Adidas said it will not extend its deal as the official apparel sponsor of the NBA after the 2016-17 season.
“We have decided to not renew our partnership as official outfitter of the NBA after our current contract expires following the 16-17 season,” the statement said. “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.
“We are re-imagining 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. We will invest more in telling stories that matter to our consumer, building category-disrupting innovative products, reinvigorating youth basketball with our new Next Generation programs and doubling our roster of professional athletes to authenticate our brand on-court.”
This announcement comes nearly a week after Adidas was informed by the NBA that
it would open the bidding to other companies, a source told USA Today. The source said Nike and Under Armour have expressed interest in becoming the next official apparel sponsor of the NBA. A source told the Portland Business Journal that the NBA is concerned about Adidas losing ground in the
global athletic and apparel industry and leadership instability.
On the other side, Chris Grancio, Adidas' global basketball general manager, told the Portland Business Journal that the sponsorship hasn't been as lucrative as hoped.
“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.”
Nike and its Jordan Brand also dominate the NBA shoe and apparel market,
and has deals with the majority of the NBA's stars, including LeBron James, Kevin Duran, Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant. Under Armour has contracts with Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker. Adidas' NBA roster includes Damian Lillard, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Andrew Wiggins, Tim Duncan and Joakim Noah.