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UK Athletics drop Adidas for Nike

ESPN staff
September 4, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Mo Farah will now be free to wear kit from personal sponsors Nike © PA Photos
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UK Athletics has sealed a £15 million sponsorship deal with Nike starting from next year after solving an acrimonious row with long-term kit supplier Adidas.

Adidas has provided official kit for Great Britain's track and field competitors for the last eight years, but took UK Athletics to court in the Netherlands last month in a row over "matching rights".

The sportswear company insisted that they had the right to match rival offers when UK Athletics' kit deal came up for renewal, however the court threw out the claim.

The verdict allows Nike to seal a new seven-year contract with UK Athletics, with the IAAF World Championships to take place in London in 2017.

The contract, to supply GB kit to British athletes of all age groups including Paralympic competitors, is believed to be worth double the value of the previous Adidas deal.

An Adidas spokesman said: "Obviously we had a relationship with UK Athletics and we're disappointed that the court decision did not go our way. We would love to have reached the point where we could continue the partnership."

Many of Britain's leading athletes, including double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah, have their own Nike contracts, with lawyers for the sportswear firm complaining their athletes have been forced to do promotional work for the National Lottery under their central contracts with UK Athletics wearing Adidas-branded kit.

Team GB will still have to wear Adidas kit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, however, because the British Olympic Association has a separate sponsorship deal with Adidas, renewed two years ago.

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