Adidas out as CFL apparel sponsor after this season

By Drew Edwards and Justin Dunk

The brand with the three stripes is moving on from the three-down league.

Adidas, the CFL’s official outfitter and licensing partner for the last two seasons, has informed the league that it will not be continuing in the role after the deal expires after the 2018 campaign.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the league is working on finding a replacement for Adidas, who took over from Reebok to much fanfare in 2015.

“There is a constant evolution to our licensing deal and our sponsorship deals,” Ambrosie said in an interview this week. “We’re not at a place today where we’re going to talk openly about where we’re going but there are some exciting things happening in that area… with people other than Adidas.”

Adidas is the second-largest sports apparel manufacturer in the world behind Nike and is one of the most prominent brands in sports. The company sponsors close to 50 NFL players and is an official partner of the 2018 World Cup.

With Adidas departing, there are relatively few big-name options available to the CFL.

The NFL’s apparel rights are currently owned by Nike, a partnership that was recently extended until 2028. Under Armour supplies jerseys to a number of high profile U.S. college programs including Auburn, Notre Dame and UCLA. Reebok, who was the CFL’s apparel sponsor from 2003 until 2016, is owned by Adidas.

Landing a prominent brand could be critically important for the league. In addition to the importance of revenue from jersey sales and apparel to the individual teams, the lack of a major outfitter could make it harder for the league to get American players up to Canada.

A new apparel sponsor also increases the likelihood of a new uniform redesign next season. Adidas revamped the jerseys for all nine teams after taking over in 2016 and a new provider would be expected to put its own stamp on the league’s look.

“Adidas has been a great partner. They’re really cool people and we love their brand, love their apparel and their shoes,” Ambrosie said. “But sometimes in business things change and you change with them so we’re going to continue to proudly wear our Adidas this coming season and then work on our plan for seasons beyond.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1425 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

38 Comments on Adidas out as CFL apparel sponsor after this season

  1. Michael Kulyk // June 15, 2018 at 11:11 am //

    nike is a better choice for cfl as they already sponsor nfl

    • It’s not a “choice” by the CFL. Adidas announced they are dropping the CFL not the CFL dropping Adidas.
      They were providing apparel to the CFL and advertising their logo, they have decided it’s not worth it and not making any money.
      If the CFL can’t find a sponsor they will likely have to pay one of the apparel companies.

      • How the hell do you know why they are leaving the CFL ? In the boardroom are you ??

        • MoneyTeam // June 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm //

          We read the article. Wow.

          “Adidas, the CFL’s official outfitter and licensing partner for the last two seasons, has informed the league that it will not be continuing in the role after the deal expires after the 2018 campaign.”

          • You’re missing his [email protected] said “They were providing apparel to the CFL and advertising their logo, they have decided it’s not worth it and not making any money.” The article says nothing about Adidas’ reasoning. @Brian rightfully called him out for it.

            You then pile on to simply prove you didn’t read the article either.

    • I personally HATED Adidas. Over priced and not functional. I truly welcome a new brand!!!

  2. About time. Those jerseys have never looked like they fit properly from day one.

    Rarely ever a run or pass reception where the player doesn’t get up with a pad out of the jersey. Name plates never layed flat.

  3. Nike already working with NFL. Would make sense.

  4. eddiefelson // June 15, 2018 at 11:24 am //

    Good-the product has been cheap the last few years-I have only bought one jersey since the reebok brand left

  5. Big loss on the t-shirt side. The Addidas designs were better and the shirts felt significantly better.

    If Addidas doesn’t mind value in the CFL, I doubt Nike would be interested. It would make sense for the league to go back to Reebok. Hopefully, they stay away from UnderArmour.

  6. TrueBlue // June 15, 2018 at 11:48 am //

    ‘the lack of a major outfitter could make it harder for the league to get American players up to Canada.’ Why might that be (seriously, am I missing something)?

    • They won’t go to Reebok as they are owned by Adidas.

    • JackBlack // June 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm //

      Athletes are pretty picky about that stuff its stupid but true. Down south they’ll legit pick a college that’s Nike over Under Armour if all other factors are equal. To go from a college where you’re handed thousands in brand name gear each season to a “pro” league where you get two team purchased Starter brand jerseys would be pretty lame in their eyes I’d think. it also affects whether or not they can wear their old gear in public at all. Johnny Manziel was wearing a Nike undershirt in training camp, how much do you think adidas hated seeing that little swoosh on his back all over the place?

  7. Roots, Canadian and a bit outside the box quirky, would be a perfect fit for the CFL.

  8. World champs // June 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm //

    It will be a Chinese company, thanks Justin Trudeau.
    I’m glad I didn’t buy a new Jersey this year!

  9. It’s going to be Lulu lemon

    • While this definitely would seem out-of-the-box, LuluLemon wouldn’t be the worst choice. Even though they specialize in a completely different sport, they have been trying to branch out into other areas, and Yoga activewear could translate to football surprisingly well.

  10. World champs // June 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm //

    The Hudson’s Bay Company

  11. Parka Pete // June 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm //

    Canada Goose.

  12. I wouldn’t buy any jerseys with those ugly “CFL” logos on them.

  13. Yes addidas informed the league that they wont be suppling jerseys beyond 2018 does not mean it was a once sided departure. Clearly if the deal expires after this year they were probably in discussionions about extending the deal and liekly were far apart as to what both sides wanted from the deal and addidas pulled out. But it could be that the league may have said we want to see what alternatives tgere are and addidas said you wanna talk to the competition fine we aren’t talking to you anymore.

    I think under armour would be a great company to get to come in and be the supplier.

  14. I never had a desire to buy a jersey that bears that Grey Blob logo. I doubt a new design will change that.

    • That’s the league’s logo not Adidas. Next company will have to put that logo on their products as well.

  15. “…the lack of a major outfitter could make it harder for the league to get American players up to Canada.”
    Huh? Do we really think they come up here for the cool tee-shirts and underwear?

  16. Edward Leslie // June 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm //

    What kind of player is going to say “You mean the CFL doesn’t have adidas as a supplier?! Then I’m waiting for the XFL, damn it!”
    I refuse to believe that kind of madness.

  17. Dallas Hicks // June 15, 2018 at 4:21 pm //

    Zubazz FTW!

    At least the TiCats might look good if nothing else…

  18. Ari Katz // June 15, 2018 at 7:37 pm //

    Hard to figure how they would not be making any money especially with all the #2 Ticat Jerseys being sold not only in Canada but in the US!!!

  19. As a Bomber fan this could be rough. They just finally got the uniforms corrected after a number of atrocities over the previous 20 years.

  20. Don’t mess with the Bombers uniforms & colours.

  21. Doesn’t Johnny Manziel have a apparel company?? Just a out there wild idea. Next to that I’d go the Under Armor route. The founder a good buddy of Scott Milenovich I believe.

  22. Good riddance. I hate the clown uniforms anyhow.

  23. This is what happens when your online shop is still charging 200$ for Ricky Foley Argos Jerseys

  24. True Blue // June 18, 2018 at 9:52 am //

    I feel the Adidas brand did an awesome job with the uniforms, especially the Bombers. I own a lot of their apparel and it’s high quality and innovative designs. It’s too bad they’re moving on after only 2 years. This isn’t good for the league. Hopefully they can secure another big name.

    Whatever happens I agree with a previous poster, so not mess with the Bomber royal blue look, it’s best design in decades.

    Sad to see Adidas move on.

  25. That’s troubling news. What about Under Armour ??

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