Today Major League Soccer has announced a new contract extension with sportswear juggernaut adidas, cementing their partnership through the 2024 season.
adidas originally started their relationship with MLS back in 1996 when they partnered with Columbus Crew, DC United and Kansas City Wiz. In 2004, MLS and adidas reached a 10-year contract for exclusivity for the league and all teams, a deal worth $15 million a year. Back in 2010, adidas and MLS renegotiated the former deal an 8-year contract worth $200 million, or $25 million annually.
This new 6-year deal marks adidas’ largest financial investment in North American soccer, worth $700 million, or $117 million annually. That works out to be more than $5 million per year, per team in 2018. That’s more than three times what MLS teams have ever received. In addition to continuing adidas as the official supply partner for MLS, this new contract expands to cover youth academies and youth affiliated clubs in addition to the league and its clubs.
“Soccer is the epicenter of our culture and, in the U.S. and Canada, soccer is the most popular sport for young people to play,” said Mark King, adidas North America President in a press release. “Our partnership with MLS puts adidas at the core of sport in North America, allowing us to make a positive difference in an athlete’s game and life. We believe in the power of sport and its ability to create positivity for young athletes and their world. Through our expanded youth development program, we’ll provide high-level competition and unique life experiences for athletes who want to improve their game.”
In conjunction with the focus on young athletes and their development, Major League Soccer will put a focus on new content approach for adidas on social media. This new multi-platform content approach, the “Creator’s Network” will facilitate content both locally and nationally from supporters of the league.
To celebrate the deal, online retailer Amazon is having a one-day sale on MLS gear.