One of the worst kept secrets became official on Tuesday when the NHL officially announced its partnership with Adidas that will see the apparel company become the official outfitter for all on-ice uniforms and licensed apparel.
The deal is for seven years, and begins during the 2017-18 season.
“Teaming up with adidas continues our strategy of aligning with major partners who share our vision for growing the game and putting innovation at the forefront of everything we do for our players and fans,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a league press release. “As an iconic performance brand with global reach, adidas is the perfect partner for us. With the World Cup of Hockey next year and the launch of our new partnership coinciding with our Centennial Celebration in 2017, there could not be a more appropriate time for us take our longstanding relationship to new heights.”
Adidas allegedly beat out companies like Bauer Hockey and Under Armour for the rights to the league outfits. Adidas did have an advantage, however, due to the current partnership with Reebok, which just so happens to be under the Adidas umbrella.
Fans will get their first look at Adidas-styled uniforms when teams from six different countries and two continents take the ice next fall for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
It’s unknown exactly what changes the company will make to jerseys once they take over in a couple years, but one should expect some major overhauls to some of the uniforms. This could include anything from adding the patented Adidas triple stripes to jerseys or a completely new template all together a la Reebok in 2007.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.