It has been reported that three of the world’s biggest sportswear brands, adidas, Puma, and NIKE, are set to enter into a bidding war for the rights to become the new official kit and equipment supplier of French soccer’s FFF governing body.
Nike is the current holder of the kit contract with the FFF to provide kits to its men’s women’s and youth soccer teams. The contract, which has a reported value of around €50.5 million ($54.3 million) per year, expires in 2026, having begun in 2018.
With time rolling down on the contract, in April the FFF is set to release a tender for the next eight-year contract period, with the three major manufacturers all eager to produce the kits for France, who have been one of the most successful national soccer teams of recent times. Les Blues won the men's FIFA World Cup in 2018 and were defeated in the final of the 2022 edition in Qatar by Argentina.
By the time the current deal ends, Nike will been an FFF partner for 15 years, but the growing prominence of Adidas and Puma, combined with the sought-after nature of the contract given France’s success and the global fame of stars such as Kylian Mbappe, means that it will have a tougher time attempting to renew its contract this time round.
Puma has of late refined its partnership strategy, ending its contracts with the Serbian and Israeli national teams in order to refocus on a smaller core of higher-profile national teams to produce kits for.
The brand revealed at the time that it is set to announce a partnership with a high-profile “statement” team to signal its intent.
Adidas meanwhile continues to be a closer competitor to Nike than Puma on the national team stage, albeit still some way off.
At the 2022 FIFA Soccer World Cup, 13 of the 32 national teams competing, including France, were partnered with Nike, with Adidas and Puma kitting out 7 and 6 sides at the tournament respectively.
This represented a fall in numbers for Adidas, who had 12 teams as partners at the Russia 2018 World Cup, and could look to use the 2026 contract to increase its presence at the next men’s FIFA World Cup, also in 2026.
Adidas is currently a partner of FIFA, world soccer's governing body, in a deal that will last through to 2030, and the addition of one of the most successful national teams in the world would entrench Adidas’ place as one of the game’s most prominent sportswear suppliers.