According to a report by TSN’s Rick Westhead and later confirmed by Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy, Adidas will be coming on board as the National Hockey League’s jersey provider for the 2017-18 season. The report adds that Adidas was up against UnderArmor and Bauer for the contract.
The story claims the deal is worth twice as much per season than the one the league had prior with Adidas’ corporate brother Reebok. The “RbkEdge” jersey system was introduced prior to the 2007-08 season to great nervousness, and while there were a few bumps in the road, for the most part things have since made their way back to normalcy.
Westhead’s report ramps up all sorts of fear by adding quotes from an “unnamed league source” that all jerseys could now include Adidas’ trademark three-stripes in the jersey design or that this is now the time ads will be incorporated.
I mean… yeah, probably… at least the ads part. But that was going to happen regardless of the NHL signing with Adidas or UA or Bauer or staying with Reebok.
As for the three stripes? I wouldn’t count on it.
Adidas had just lost their contract with the NBA and outside of league events such as the All-Star Game and team shooting shirts/pants we didn’t see the three stripes much on the actual basketball court during games. Hey at least now Adidas won’t have a tough sell with their sleeved uniforms.
There’s also numerous college hockey teams who wear Adidas jerseys, a quick search didn’t yield any instances of three stripes on their uniforms.
Where Adidas loves stripes, however, is on international jerseys, hockey included. As part of this contract the company will also be doing up the jerseys for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, so if we’re going to see three stripes everywhere, that’ll be your place.
If you do want some realistic panic, Adidas could implement some new non-traditional design ideas to the league, sometimes this is bad (random piping! Reebok!), sometimes it’s a good thing (I, uh, have no immediate examples).
Westhead expects the deal to be announced sometime next month.