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Adidas won’t attempt to extend apparel contract with NBA

Game Balls Galore Basketball

In this photo taken Jan. 24, 2015 photo, an Adidas game ball rests on the scorer’s table prior to an NCAA college basketball game between Michigan State and Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. Unlike the NBA, which uses the Spalding ball for all games, the NCAA has no uniform brand for regular-season games. That means a team could be playing with a type of ball it’s unaccustomed to when it goes on the road. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

AP

Adidas makes official NBA uniforms.

For now.

Adidas’ 11-year, $400 million contract with the league expires in 2017, and it won’t be extended.

Matthew Kish of Portland Business Journal:
The German company has dropped its bid to extend its apparel contract with the league and instead will focus on developing new products, endorsing more amateur teams and doubling its roster of NBA players.

Chris Grancio, Adidas’ global basketball general manager, said the deal hasn’t been as lucrative as hoped. Adidas has been unable to make up lost ground with Nike and its Jordan brand, which account for roughly 96 percent of the basketball shoe business.

“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.”


Adidas reportedly stood to lose millions during the last lockout. I wonder how much the likely work stoppage in 2017 affected Adidas’ thinking here.

Expect Nike and Under Armour to bid to become the new official apparel provider. How much they’re willing to pay will say a lot about whether the end of this current deal is an Adidas issue or an NBA issue.