“adidas will make a significant contribution to providing state-of-the-art technology for the manufacture of hockey jerseys for the world`s best hockey players, while serving our growing global fan community with innovative products,” said Don Fehr, Executive Director of NHLPA. “We look forward to partnering with adidas` creative minds, who share our focus on the growth of ice hockey around the world.” When Adidas signed a seven-year contract to become the uniform supplier to the NHL, the German company had no one working in a hockey industry. Of course, the company was owned by Reebok, then the rights holder, but for Adidas, signing an agreement at the end of 2015 that would start in 2017 meant creating – and creating quickly. “Working with adidas continues our strategy of aligning ourselves with important partners who share our vision to develop the game and put innovation at the forefront of our game for our players and fans,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “As an iconic performance brand with global reach, adidas is the perfect partner for us. With next year`s World Cup of Hockey and the launch of our new partnership, which coincides with our anniversary party in 2017, it would be no more timely for us to take our long-standing relationship to new heights. The NHL and Adidas both declined to comment. A source said the deal will be officially announced in mid-September. It is not clear whether the NHL will receive a reduction in jersey sales revenues or whether it is a direct right agreement. Other new agreements that boosted NHL sponsorship revenues were partnerships with Apple, Hulu, Great Clips and Oikos, while the league also renewed its contracts with PepsiCo and ScotiaBank. Adidas also hopes to include Sidney Crosby in its marketing plans.
Crosby has a contract with Reebok, which expires at the end of August, and his agents have negotiated with Adidas. In September 2015, the NHL and Adidas announced plans for Adidas to make official NHL jerseys starting in the 2017/18 season. All jerseys are in possession of the NHL. On June 20, 2017, the NHL unveiled new ADIZERO jerseys for each of the 31 teams, including the first uniform for the league`s youngest team, the Vegas Golden Knights. In 2020, adidas unveiled new uniforms for the 32nd NHL team, the Seattle Kraken. The new jerseys are advertised as lighter, fresher and stronger than previous jerseys.  Due to the change, there were no third “alternative” jerseys for NHL teams during the 2017/18 season. When the third jersey program was relaunched next season, teams were given the opportunity to wear unique “Heritage” alternatives (usually drawings of past jerseys), third-time full-time jerseys or both.
The NHL deal comes when Nike recently struck a deal to replace Adidas as a similar sponsor of the NBA in 2017. King said that Adidas had signed a new contract with the NBA for many months, and that he had failed to get a reasonable deal that was good for him and good for us, and we went away from the deal. Much of the sales surge can be attributed to new ice uniforms, licensed clothing and sales hairstyles with Adidas.