Adidas says will not renew NBA contract

The logo of Adidas, the world's second largest sports apparel firm, is pictured in a store in Munich March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder (Reuters)

By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - Sportswear group Adidas AG will not renew its contract to supply kit to the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA), saying it feels it would be better to invest its money in new products and players. Adidas has been losing market share in the United States to Nike Inc and Under Armour Inc and the market is a priority for the German group this year, Chief Executive Herbert Hainer said earlier this month. Adidas has provided apparel for the NBA since 2006 and its 11-year deal, worth an estimated $400 million, expires at the end of the 2016-2017 season. The NBA told Adidas last week it was opening up to new partners for the next contract, a source familiar with the process said, adding that Adidas's falling market share and upcoming chief executive change were behind that decision. Adidas will instead invest in new products, youth basketball and in doubling the number of basketball players who wear its shoes on court. "We feel with a different investment strategy, we will be more successful," an Adidas spokeswoman said. "We want to put a bigger focus on players in our shoes." The top two U.S. kit suppliers, Nike and Under Armour, are in line for the NBA contract, industry analysts said. The NBA declined to comment on Monday. (Editing by Maria Sheahan)