By ERIN CLACK
NEW YORK (April 12, 2006) - Adidas is set to suit up the NBA.
The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based athletic company has signed an 11-year global merchandising partnership that will make Adidas the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League, beginning with the 2006-2007 season.
The new relationship comes as a result of Adidas' recent acquisition of Reebok International, the NBA's exclusive uniform and apparel supplier since 2001. Reebok will continue to serve as a global marketing partner of the NBA and will retain the ability to create NBA-branded footwear.
“As part of the Reebok integration, we as a group made this strategic decision, which we believe will significantly help us to immediately increase the visibility of Adidas as a sport performance brand in the U.S.,” Herbert Hainer, Adidas group chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “In the long-term, this new 11-year partnership has the power to make the NBA and Adidas synonymous in basketball.”
Adidas will design, produce and market a wide assortment of NBA apparel collections incorporating the latest fabrics and technology featured in Adidas' branded apparel and footwear lines.
Also as part of the agreement, Adidas and the NBA will team up at retail with a heightened Adidas presence at the world's only NBA Store, located in New York, by launching an Adidas-NBA concept shop that will function as the prototype for additional retail development globally. Adidas will also sell NBA products through its own worldwide retail locations.
The two companies plan to promote their partnership through a wide variety of global marketing and media initiatives, including NBA Europe Live presented by EA Sports in 2006 and 2007, as well as grassroots events and branded media programs throughout the 215 countries in which the league disseminates content.