It is being reported that Adidas are set to end their 18-year sponsorship partnership with the British & Irish Lions thanks in large part to Manchester United.
Adidas are believed to have reneged on the agreement after signing a 10-year, £750 millions deal with the Premiership giants. This has led to them reigning their other sponsorship expenditure, which includes the British & Irish Lions kit deal.
The Lions originally began their sponsorship deal with Adidas in 1997 for their tour of South Africa, and had been set to reach their 20 year landmark when the side tours New Zealand in 2017. It now looks like bidding is set to begin for the kit deal over the next 12 months.
An Adidas spokesperson told joe.ie ‘we can confirm that its 18-year partnership with the Lions will come to an end when the current contract expires this year. adidas is proud to have been part of what has been a golden era for the Lions… [it] remains the world’s leading rugby brand, counting the All Blacks, France, Italy, Stade Francais, Munster and Harlequins among its partners.’
At this stage the front runners for the kit deal are Canterbury and Under Armour who will battle it out for one of the most recognisable shirts in world sport. Who would you most like to see kitting out this Lions in 2017?