Major League Soccer Extends Partnership With Adidas Heading Into The 2023 Season

Adidas AG - ADR ADDYY is extending its partnership with Major League Soccer.

The athletic apparel company signed a multi-year extension with the MLS to continue serving as the league's official supplier ahead of the upcoming season. 

"We are very proud to be extending our partnership with Major League Soccer. It is incredible to see the growth and success of the league and soccer in North America and the work that has been done," adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said in a press release.

"Soccer is an important part of our history and who we are at adidas. We are committed to helping grow the game and could not be more excited as we approach the 2026 World Cup hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico." 

Under the deal's agreement, adidas will continue as the official sponsor of the MLS and serve as its footwear and apparel provider. The partnership will also focus on additional investments in youth development. 

According to CNBC, the deal is valued at $830 million and runs through 2030.

"Adidas had been helping to drive the popularity of MLS and the sport of soccer in North America for generations and we look forward to working closely with them to accelerate our growth leading into and following the 2026 FIFA World Cup," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

"We are so pleased to extend our partnership with adidas, the leading soccer brand in the world."

The World Cup has catalyzed soccer's popularity in the U.S. With North America hosting the 2026 World Cup, the commissioner expects to see rapid growth leading up to the event.

"The pathway to 2026 is something that's going to be the rocket fuel for the entire soccer ecosystem in the US," Garber told reporters on Wednesday, according to AFP.

The MLS continues to see impressive attendance growth, scoring a record attendance of 10 million in 2022, up from 8.6 million in 2019, as per CNBC.

Adidas' renewed partnership with the MLS comes as Apple Inc APPL recently announced a 10-year streaming contract with the league worth $2.5 billion, according to The Athletic. Under the deal, the MLS will become the first major professional league to stream all its games through Apple TV.

Apple TV's userbase could be a boon for MLS, who until now aired their games on regional and local TV networks, with only a few games broadcasted nationally.

Media rights deals have primarily been responsible for the ever-increasing player contracts in the NFL, NBA and MLB. The MLS signing an agreement with the world's most valuable company puts it on firm footing and could enhance the league's ability to poach overseas talent.

"We're going to be putting (games) on a device for any fan anywhere in the world, anytime, anywhere, without any blackouts. It's unprecedented," Garber said. 


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