ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski is reporting that Adidas will not renew its contract to produce apparel and authentic jerseys for the NHL after the 2023-24 season. Wyshynski says that Adidas “was the catalyst” on the decision to part ways. There are two more seasons left on the seven-year deal worth over $70 million per season.
Adidas first became the NHL’s jersey maker during the 2017-18 season after a 12-year run by Reebok (2005-06). The Capitals were the first team to lift the Stanley Cup in Adidas sweaters.
Adidas wil be remembered as being behind the popular Reverse Retro line in 2021 (view all the jerseys), which brought some of the most iconic designs in NHL history back onto the ice. The Carolina Hurricanes re-embraced the Hartford Whalers logo while the Colorado Avalanche honored their Quebec Nordiques history. The Capitals’ red screaming eagle design was the top-selling RR sweater online during the first week of sales.
The league will release a second volume of Reverse Retro jerseys next season. The Capitals are rumored to be bringing back the screaming eagle in black.
The NHL and Adidas will be introducing jersey ads for the first time next season.
Smiling from ear-to-ear in our signed Johnny Gaudreau #CBJ jersey 😄
Enter to win ➡️ https://t.co/iiLBgiGXBI pic.twitter.com/heM6VBqBOv
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) July 27, 2022
Adidas’s sweaters have been generally well-liked by fans as they form fit against the body and offer a variety of sizes from 42 to 60. The biggest challenge to Adidas’ reign has been the jerseys’ overall lack of availability during popular releases. A source told RMNB that has been due to production and worldwide shipping issues created by the coronavirus pandemic.
While the NHL’s next logical heir is unknown, one major player could be Nike which already produces jerseys for the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Under Armour produces jerseys for some NCAA teams. Fanatics, who is the NHL’s official retailer, has produced NHL replica sweaters (breakaway jerseys) since 2017-18 and could also play a role.
Per Wyshynski’s story, the NHL has begun letting potential suitors know that the rights are back in play.
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