The NHL confirmed to ESPN on Thursday that Adidas will not return as the NHL’s official supplier of jerseys and apparel when their contract ends after the 2023-24 season.
According to ESPN, Adidas, which has two years left on its seven-year contract, was the driving force behind the decision not to renew with the NHL. The league has begun informing other garment firms that the rights are once again available.
“The NHL and Adidas look forward to continuing to work closely together over the next two years and to a smooth transition to the new authentic NHL uniform supplier, which will be announced by the NHL at the appropriate time,” the NHL said in a statement.
Adidas took over as the NHL’s uniform supplier in the 2017-18 season, replacing Reebok, which had done so since the 2005-06 season. Adidas also collaborated with the NHL and the NHLPA to create jerseys for the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.
Sources indicated at the time that Adidas was paying at least double the $35 million per year that Reebok had been paying for the rights.
The NHL and Adidas collaboration included several inventive moments, such as the iconic Team North America jerseys during the World Cup and a line of NHL “Reverse Retro” jerseys, a streetwear-inspired remix of vintage NHL sweaters and emblems that teams wore during the 2020-21 season.
Adidas also focused individual player promotion, with stars such as Connor McDavid signing partnerships to promote the brand.
According to ESPN, Adidas informed players with expiring endorsement contracts that their contracts would not be extended, indicating that the firm was planning a rupture with the NHL.
The NHL also has a long-term agreement with Fanatics, which has been a partner since 2005. Since the 2017-18 season, Fanatics has been the official manufacturer of a wide range of NHL gear and accessories, including replica jerseys.
It operates the NHL’s e-commerce retail site as well as on-site retail at several NHL events.