By Simon Ward
Fifa, soccer’s international governing body, and Adidas, the German sportswear giant, today announced the extension of their long-running partnership until 2030 in a deal that will cover four World Cup tournaments.
Adidas has been a sponsor of the federation since 1970 and is one of the top-tier Fifa Partners in an eight-year agreement which runs until next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The extension of the deal, which includes broad licensing and event rights to the World Cup and similar rights to other Fifa national teams tournaments, was revealed at a ceremony in Moscow, the capital of Russia, the host country for the 2018 World Cup, where Adidas will again have a major presence.
The new agreement also includes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2026 and 2030 events, which have yet to be allocated, plus other tournaments, including Women’s World Cups and Under-20 World Cups.
Fifa partners Coca-Cola and Hyundai-Kia and second-tier World Cup Sponsor Budweiser have already extended their deals to 2022 and the federation announced late last year than one company, which it did not identify at the time, was committed to 2030.
Sponsors have remained loyal to Fifa despite various scandals at the federation, including allegations of corruption against former executive committee members and the controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, and protests in Brazil during this year's Confederations Cup, the dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup.
The Adidas deal includes the supply of the official match ball for the World Cup and the provision of uniforms for thousands of volunteers at tournaments. The company will also continue to work on development programmes and grassroots projects around the world, including Fifa Goal and the Fifa Football for Hope Adidas Exchange Programme.
Herbert Hainer, the chief executive of Adidas, said: “Over the last 40 years, Adidas and Fifa have worked closely together to develop football worldwide. Therefore, it was a natural step for us to extend one of the most successful partnerships in the history of sports marketing.
"We are happy and proud that our close relationship with Fifa will continue. This unique partnership and our extensive presence at all Fifa World Cups will help us to expand Adidas' position as the leading football brand worldwide."
Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil added: “Without the support of long-term partners such as Adidas, it would simply not be possible for Fifa to host global spectacles such as the Fifa World Cup and to continue our work to develop football worldwide.
"Adidas is an integral part of the Fifa World Cup story, quite literally featuring at the heart of the action at every tournament since the 1970 Fifa World Cup. We are delighted that this long-term strategic partnership will continue until at least 2030 and we are looking forward to writing new chapters of football history together."
Unlike rivals such as Nike and Puma, which tend to focus on deals with teams and individual players, Adidas sees value in being an official sponsor of major tournaments, as shown by its deals with Fifa and with Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, for competitions such as the European Championships and Champions League.
Earlier this month, Adidas announced net profits of €316 million ($425 million) for the three months to the end of September, a fall of 8 per cent on the same period last year. Revenues were down 7 per cent to €3.879 billion.
Hainer said that its third-quarter performance “was negatively impacted by severe currency headwinds, unexpected short-term distribution constraints in Russia/CIS as well as our actions to rebalance our inventories in the global golf market.”
However, he claimed that the company had “delivered stable earnings per share” in the first nine months of the year, and sales in the year as a whole are expected to increase at a “low-single-digit rate.”
Hainer concluded: “With strong demand, upcoming initiatives around the 2014 Fifa World Cup and positive customer feedback to our spring/summer 2014 collections from all of our brands, momentum will clearly return to our business in the fourth quarter and beyond.”