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Is adidas' New $200M, Eight-Year Deal With Major League Soccer Worth The Money?

August 30, 2010: Fresh off a successful run as an official partner at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, adidas said its has signed a deal with Major League Soccer that will extend their alliance through 2018 and add significant activation "aimed at further elevating soccer in the United States and developing opportunities for young players."

Financial terms of the new deal were not disclosed, but national wire service stories said the previous 10-year, $150 million deal was replaced with this eight-year deal valued at $200 million.. Adidas has been a partner of MLS since the league's inception in 1996. In 2004, adidas and MLS announced an exclusive partnership agreement that named adidas the official athletic sponsor and product supplier, outfitting all league teams and supplying the league's official match ball.  

According to adidas and MLS, an integral part of their alliance moving forward will be "a dedicated focus on youth development and programming to help shape the future of the sport in North America."

"The United States is a breeding ground for athletic talent and we need to ensure our homegrown athletes have viable opportunities to play soccer at the highest level," Patrik Nilsson, president, adidas America, said in a statement. "We need to accelerate the model for soccer development in North America to attract and keep elite talent engaged and excited about professional opportunities in the sport. We share a long-term vision with MLS to develop the game and are excited to foster the next generation of American soccer stars."

Adidas also is expected to support with increased domestic and international marketing featuring MLS players. Soccer in the U.S. gained prominent global attention at the 2010 World Cup when the U.S. National team, led by such players as MLS veterans Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Jozy Altidore, guided the squad to the Group of 16. The U.S. is currently bidding to host the FIFA World Cup in either 2018 or 2022. The 2010 Cup was played in South Africa; the 2014 World Cup will be hosted by Brazil.

"We need to accelerate the model for soccer development in North America to attract and keep elite talent engaged and excited about pro opportunities."

"One of the major reasons Major League Soccer has become one of the top soccer leagues in the world is due to the support and commitment of adidas," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "They have a clear vision for the sport in North America, and they see MLS as a cornerstone of that vision. Our extension with adidas is a major statement by an internationally respected brand that MLS is increasing in value and that our commitments to stadium construction, strategic expansion, player development and improvement in the overall quality of play are playing dividends."

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