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The market place has changed. This is both a big win and, a huge loss.

Updated: Mar 28



Nike should be recognised here, winning the DFB contract after years of perseverance shows that they understand how to take the game to their biggest rivals.


It is a difficult situation heading into major contract negotiations, this will have been a big battle. Nike have a long record of usurping rivals from strong soccer footholds, and it is easy to say this is just because of the ability to pay a high ticket values for marquis sponsorship deals.


Recent trends in negotiations have shown that brand legal teams will have contract clauses in place to allow them the ability as the current partner to match a final rival offer. Unfortunately, "matching" a creative or innovative play can be hard. Boardrooms remember who shows the strongest signs of commercial and creative strategies during the early stages of negotiations and this can be a game changer when 2 companies are happy to pay the same price tag.


One thing is for sure, when Nike replaced New Balance at Liverpool they used their international footprint, athletes and franchises (Jordan) as a way to force their way through matching a counter offer from the existing partner.


If the value of the contract was an issue I would be surprised. Imagine how much the contract will cost after another 7 years?





This partnership is the biggest deal in football. It is unreplaceble.


In preparing to enter negotiations the sponsorship, legal, product and sports marketing teams will have drafted a proposal that they felt would fly. But, ultimately deals are made by people with people, and managing this this level of negotiating is a craft. Being able to read the level of desire for change is really important in order to help you craft an appropriate proposal.


What would the winning proposal of included?


License opportunities, e-commerce and omni channel plans, athlete IP, and event creation, in game shopping with data capture and unique broadcast opportunities will have been central to Nikes efforts. The work the brand executed with the Brazilian team will stand them in good stead to underline how they can differentiate the commercial opportunities for live events and streaming. Nike has the ability to utilise their global assets to create one off "events" to create unique"fan moments"in new international market places unlocked by Adidas to date. This event ownership format is huge, it creates a direct line from the team to new commercial revenue streams, product drops and fan enhanced experience with realtime data.


The franchise angle is interesting. Using the Jordan brand to date with Paris Saint Germain was a "first" crossover from basketball to football and would appeal to a basketball loving nation like Germany too. Nike will also have an angle to utilise franchise products like Jordan to create new and unique product lines to maximise this strategy, driving new commerce routes and DFB recognition further globally with German Fans.


Franchise strategies are a difficult move for Adidas who are limited in likely existing franchise opportunities that could carry International Teams into credible product and lifestyle markets. Beckham, has been very well utilised by the brand but, is over leveraged on personal brand association and franchises, leaving Adidas little wiggle room on this occasion. Adidas does not have a franchise agreement that can match Jordans global brand equity. This could be an area for the future forecasters to develop opportunities to aid the next big round of negotiations.


What negotiation strategy could carry weight and potentially get a "ready to jump" board to stop and rethink? Put the global fan bases views front and central to the partnership proposals. Adidas's brand purpose has been to support the National team to the highest possible standards, with minimum intrusion. I’m not sure if a chunky piece of research with personal insights and emotions from the global fan base was used to show both cultural relevance and brand empathy? The truth that underlines the existing partnership? It was very successful. The team, its partner Adidas and the fans have shared some amazing experiences, “special sporting moments” and ultimately success. Stars on the shirt are not easy to buy.


This is not a small shift by the DFB it’s seismic. If the DFB board was ready for real innovation it has caught adidas sleeping.


What could real innovation have looked like? A recycled kit with no stripes? Detachable stripes? Inter changeable stripes of any colour?  One-off shirts that can be bought from Global pop up shops 3 hours before kick off and then recycled on the way out of the ground, fan park, sports club or bar? Let's wait and see. Oh, and get ready for maximum commercial action to bring a yield back to a heavy entry price point.


We are all going to being seeing a lot more of the German National Football Team.




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