Men in blue to don Adidas apparel, announces BCCI

| Updated: 22 May, 2023 1:14 pm IST

The BCCI secretary, Jay Shah, announced on Monday that Adidas is the new kit sponsor for the Indian cricket team, replacing Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd. Adidas took over after MPL Sports withdrew from the sponsorship deal.

“I’m pleased to announce @BCCI’s partnership with @adidas as a kit sponsor. We are committed to growing the game of cricket and could not be more excited to partner with one of the world’s leading sportswear brands. Welcome aboard, @adidas,” Jay Shah tweeted on Monday.

Killer Jeans, the current sponsor, will end its contract on May 31, making way for Adidas to become the new kit sponsor. Previously, MPL served as India’s kit sponsor until Killer Jeans took over. MPL, seeking an early termination of its contract that was originally set to expire in 2023, paid the Indian board 6.5 lakh per match and 9 crores in royalties for a three-year agreement.

Adidas has in the past sponsored Sachin Tendulkar in personal capacity. However, this is the first time that the brand has forayed into cricket as a team sport. It is also known to sponsor top football and tennis players across the world.

Interestingly, the German company’s arch rival Nike has been the official apparel sponsor of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a long time. In 2007, the two brands clashed due a dispute regarding the use of Sachin Tendulkar’s name. Adidas, which had a personal endorsement agreement with Tendulkar, has taken the matter to the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) by filing a petition against Nike, the official apparel sponsor back then.

Adidas has also requested the fair trade practices body to mandate that Sachin Tendulkar provide a formal declaration affirming his personal endorsement of Adidas, despite Nike’s existing contract with the Indian cricket board (BCCI) for the team’s on-field uniforms.

A subtle battle has been unfolding within Indian cricket since 2005 when Nike secured a five-year sponsorship deal for the Indian cricket team, surpassing Reebok and Adidas. Nike subsequently released T-shirts featuring Tendulkar’s name and jersey number. The issue arose because the players involved, including Tendulkar, had individual contractual agreements with Adidas and Reebok, but were not consulted prior to Nike’s merchandise launch.

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