Three months after its $3.8 billion purchase of Reebok, the National Basketball Association inked an 11-year global merchandising deal to make Adidas the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the Women's National Basketball Association and NBA Development League. Slam dunk!
The contract is estimated to cost the sneaker maker $400 million, far more than the 10-year, $250 million contract Reebok signed with the NBA in 2001. Beginning in the 2006-07 season Adidas will get its logo on all NBA apparel, including warm-ups. Reebok had a similar deal. The deal doesn't extend to actual team uniforms.
TV ratings of NBA telecasts may be off, and there has been a decline of middle-class, middle-income men in the audience. But Adidas rightly views this as a global play, with dividends in emerging markets like Asia.
The NBA has always had the biggest global reach of the major professional team sports based in the U.S., and both Adidas execs and NBA Commish David Stern cited the Asian market where basketball is growing.