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Adidas And MLS Re-Up With Monster Six-Year Deal

Back in 2010, MLS signed an eight-year deal with Adidas worth $200 million. It was seen as a watershed moment for the league, signed just years after an eight-year contract with ESPN.

In 2014, the broadcast deal for MLS changed dramatically when ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision signed new agreements totaling around $90 million per-season, five times more than the previous deal.

Now, with the original contract signed by Adidas due to expire in 2018, the league has once again seen a dramatic increase in investment: Adidas will pay MLS $700 million over the next six years — a larger return than the bumper broadcast deals.

After allowing Nike to take the NBA contract from them back in 2015, Adidas US CEO Mark King detailed why he sees MLS as a much more compelling option for his company: “If it was a typical league deal, where you only get to put your logo on the jersey, I think we’d still be interested because soccer is our core sport around the world, but it really becomes interesting when you look at all the programs that help build the sport.

“My guess is within 10 years, from a youth participation standpoint, soccer will be the biggest sport. And if kids who play soccer continue to be fans of the sport, then yeah, if you’re talking 20 to 30 years from now, I think MLS can be as big as NFL.”

Additionally, the new deal is worth almost 70 percent more per year than what Adidas currently pays for its NHL apparel partnership.

According to King, Adidas will also play a key role in helping MLS develop players through Generation Adidas, provide better marketing for homegrown stars and increase support for Generation Adidas Canada so that our Canadian brethren can return to the World Cup as soon as possible.

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