Adidas, the German sportswear giant, has today suspended its commercial relationship with the Russian Football Union (RFS) with immediate effect, in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
It joins a growing list of brands attempting to untangle themselves from associations and commercial deals with Russian sports teams and authorities in the wake of the invasion.
The two first partnered in 2008 through a 10-year agreement and renewed in 2018, with that deal having been scheduled to run through until the end of this year.
As the RFS’ kit supplier, Adidas was responsible for producing the matchday kits the various Russian representative teams wore for all matches.
While the move is a significant one for Adidas in terms of cutting its ties with a Russian sports property, its branding would have been unlikely to be seen on the Russian national team kit for the foreseeable future anyway. Yesterday (February 28), soccer’s global governing body FIFA banned the country’s national teams from competing at all major international tournaments, while European soccer’s UEFA has now taken the same steps for its own tournaments and competitions.
A wide-ranging round-up covering Russian brands that have had their deals terminated with teams and leagues from outside the country in the last few days can be found here.