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Adidas is facing a series of setbacks, starting with the costly breakup with US rapper Ye that led to a rare loss for the company last year. More recently, the German sportswear giant suffered a significant blow on home turf when the German Football Association (DFB) announced that Nike will be the official kit supplier for national soccer teams from 2027 until 2034, ending a partnership that spanned over seven decades and four World Cup wins for the men’s team.

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf acknowledged the importance of Adidas in German football history but emphasized the association’s commitment to achieving further success with Nike, citing the financial offer and commitment to developing women’s football, amateur, and grassroots sport in Germany as deciding factors. While the exact value of the new deal was not disclosed, it was clear that Nike’s proposal was the most appealing to the DFB.

The announcement came as a surprise to Adidas, with a company spokesperson confirming that they were informed by the DFB of the decision to switch suppliers in 2027. Despite being the current supplier for several national teams, including Germany, Italy, and Spain, Adidas will be replaced by Nike’s logo on the shirts of Germany’s national teams in three years.

The partnership between Adidas and German football is considered a significant part of the country’s identity, according to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck. He expressed disappointment in the decision to switch to Nike, highlighting the symbolic value of the long-standing association between Adidas and German football and the loss of local patriotism.

The timing of the DFB’s announcement could not have been worse for Adidas, following a net loss of €58 million in its core business for 2023. The company’s struggles were attributed to a slowdown in sales of Yeezy-branded products and a heavy tax burden. This financial setback came after Adidas terminated its partnership with Ye due to his controversial remarks, adding to the challenges facing the company.

Despite these difficulties, Adidas will continue to supply kits for seven national teams, including Germany, for the Euro 2024 men’s championship. However, the transition to Nike as the official kit supplier for German national teams from 2027 onwards marks a significant change in the sports industry landscape. The decision reflects a shift in priorities for the DFB and a new chapter in the relationship between German football and sports brands.

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