PORTLAND, Ore. and NEW YORK, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- adidas and Major League Soccer today announced an extension to their strategic partnership agreement aimed at further elevating soccer in the United States and developing opportunities for young players. The partnership extends adidas' position as the official athletic sponsor and product supplier for the MLS through 2018.
Core to the new agreement is 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," said Patrik Nilsson, president, adidas America. "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 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.
"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," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "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."
adidas is the global leader in soccer and partners with many of the world's greatest soccer clubs and federations including Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Germany and Japan. adidas is an official partner of FIFA, UEFA and the Confederations of African Football. adidas also sponsors world-class athletes like Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, Fredy Montero, Lionel Messi, Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Michael Ballack, Xavi, Frank Lampard and Andres Guardado, among others.
adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world. Brand adidas is part of the adidas Group, a corporation that includes brands such as Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport.
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union. Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011 and in Montreal in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official Web site at www.MLSsoccer.com.