Adidas (ADDYY) and MLS have agreed on a massive six-year deal worth an estimated $700 million, making it the largest investment Adidas has made to date in North American soccer and the largest sponsorship deal in MLS history. The lucrative extension means that Adidas will remain the official apparel supplier for the league’s teams and its affiliated youth programs. The annual value of the new contract ($117 million) exceeds the amount MLS generates from all of its TV contracts combined ($90 million/year) and is valued at 70% more per year than Adidas pays the NHL ($70 million) for its apparel partnership.
Howie Long-Short: Adidas is desperate to make their mark in the US, and soccer is obviously their hallmark. Less clear how long it takes for MLS to develop into more than a lucrative semi-retirement home for geriatric European stars.
Fan Marino: Buying an MLS team in 2017 is like buying an NFL team prior to 1990. Nothing but upside.