MLS, adidas Extend Partnership Through 2018

The new Adidas MLS soccer ball on display during the MLS SuperDraft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA, on January 14, 2010.

Major League Soccer and adidas have extended their partnership agreement through 2018, according to a press release Monday.

The two have been partners since the first season of MLS back in 1996.

“The United States is a breeding ground for athletic talent and we need to ensure our homegrown athletes have viable opportunities to play soccer at the highest level,” said Patrik Nilsson, president of adidas America, in the release.  “We need to accelerate the model for soccer development in North America to attract and keep elite talent engaged and excited about professional opportunities in the sport.  We share a long-term vision with MLS to develop the game and are excited to foster the next generation of American soccer stars.”

MLS commissioner Don Garber also weighed in, adding “One of the major reasons Major League Soccer has become one of the top soccer leagues in the world is due to the support and commitment of adidas. They have a clear vision for the sport in North America, and they see MLS as a cornerstone of that vision.  Our extension with adidas is a major statement by an internationally respected brand that MLS is increasing in value and that our commitments to stadium construction, strategic expansion, player development and improvement in the overall quality of play are playing dividends.”

I find it difficult to see this as anything other than fantastic news for MLS.

Why?

Consider for a moment that the NFL, NHL and NBA are staring down the barrel of potential labor strife as their respective CBAs expire in the next two years.

With this deal, reportedly worth around $200 million, and the new collective bargaining agreement already in place, MLS arguably finds itself in a more stable position in terms of long term growth and labor peace than every other major sport in America.

What do you think? Excited about the continuation of the Generation Adidas program? Wondering why MLS extended a deal that had four years left on it? Chime in below.

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