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Adidas will give up NBA jersey and apparel contract

Adidas will not extend its deal as the official apparel sponsor of the NBA after the 2016-17 season, the the shoe and apparel manufacturer said in a statement on Monday. “We have decided to not renew our partnership as official outfitter of the NBA after our current contract expires following the 16-17 season,” the statement said. “While we have enjoyed a successful long-term relationship with the league, we continually review our partner agreements to ensure they are meeting our investment and delivering on our brand and business needs.635621082753956886-USATSI-8393664

“We are re-imagining and reshaping our business and have evolved our strategy to look at new, cutting-edge ways to drive our brand and support our business over the long term. We will invest more in telling stories that matter to our consumer, building category-disrupting innovative products, reinvigorating youth basketball with our new Next Generation programs and doubling our roster of professional athletes to authenticate our brand on-court.” Nike and Under Armour are interested in becoming the next official apparel sponsor of the NBA, the person said. And while Adidas told the Portland Business Journal that the deal with the NBA wasn’t as lucrative as it had hoped, Nike and Under Armour could get into a bidding war for the new deal.

Adidas has slipped to third behind Nike, the apparel powerhouse, and Under Armour, the ever-growing upstart. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank recently spent time at NBA headquarters, talking to the league’s marketing staff, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is impressed with Plank and what he has done with Under Armour. But the NBA also has familiarity with Nike, too. Nike was the NBA’s official apparel sponsor until 2004, and Nike is the official apparel sponsor for USA Basketball.

Nike and its Jordan Brand also dominate the NBA shoe and apparel market, and several of the game’s best players have deals with Nike and Jordan Brand, according to HoopsHype: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Marc and Pau Gasol and Paul George.