German kit manufacturer, Adidas, has disclosed that it will be ending its kit sponsorship deal with Nigeria’s national soccer team, also known as the Super Eagles.
The famous Nigerian national team now faces the ominous prospect of being without a kit sponsor. The reasons for Adidas’ decision not to renew its deal is understood to be centred on various occasions of a breach of contract when members of the Super Eagles playing and coaching staff flouted contractual rules by wearing clothing items of Adidas’ rivals.
The loss of the deal, valued at around $7 million, is a big blow for the Nigerian Football Federation who have faced a tumultuous year in which it has been beset by electoral troubles, faced multiple threats of sanctions by FIFA as well as the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the Cup of Nations.
NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire has however insisted that the body is proactive as regards the current situation and has hinted that the NFF could already be charting a course for the future with other manufacturers.
“We currently are in discussions with multiple parties regarding our kit situation,” Olajire told BBC Sport. However, the spokesman was also quick to suggest that the door remained open if Adidas chose to continue with the deal saying that the NFF “remain confident they [Adidas] could still reconsider their position.”
Adidas have quite a lengthy and successful history with Nigeria as they have kitted Nigeria on two of the occasions when the country has won the African Cup of Nations. Adidas became Nigeria’s kit sponsors before the Tunisia ’94 Cup of Nations in Tunisia as well as during Nigeria’s first ever appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 1994. After a stint with Nike, Adidas once again came on board as the Super Eagles’ kit suppliers in 2004 and at the 2013 Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Adidas’ $7 million deal is said to include allowances for the Super Eagles to train at Adidas ultra-modern sport centres in Europe as well as other incentives.
Adidas is one of the foremost sport manufacturing companies in global sports with sales of around $19 billion recorded in 2013. Founded in 1920, the company is led by CEO Herbert Hainer and is a big player in sports business as it employs about 50,000 people.