Nike will have exclusive rights to NFL clothing

As part of the deal showcased ahead of the NFL ownership Tuesday morning in Chicago, New Era will be the official on-court headgear supplier and produce hats for spectators and spectators.

Under Armor will continue to equip players with the NFL combine.

All contracts are for five years.

“We have spent a considerable amount of time over the past few years rigorously evaluating our apparel business,” Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president for business and commercial operations, said in a statement. “The new framework will offer fans a wider range of merchandise from the world’s category leaders in the licensed sportswear industry. “

Nike shares hit an all-time high of $ 83.40 on Tuesday, in part thanks to the news. Equities have since retreated slightly.

Reebok will retain its rights to the uniforms until its 10-year, $ 300 million contract expires before the 2012 season. Adidas, which owns Reebok, fell the most in more than three months on yesterday’s reports that the company was out of NFL business.

“Reebok has enjoyed a long and very successful NFL partnership,” Adidas said in a statement. “Over the past decade, we have revolutionized and modernized the sports licensing industry, introducing new fan categories, retail formats and new uniform technologies, en route to more than doubling the size of the sport licensing industry. former NFL licensed sales. We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish together. “

Other companies that have obtained license rights include GIII, VF, Outerstuff and ’47 Brand.

Although the league has granted licensing rights, there is actually a legal question whether it even has the right to do so. In May, the United States Supreme Court returned the American Needle v. NFL to lower courts to decide whether the NFL’s award of the Reebok contract in 2001 was a violation of antitrust rules. Given the money at stake if the league loses the case, the NFL is expected to eventually settle with American Needle, a hat company that opposed the exclusive rights deal. Lawyer Meir Feder, who represented American Needle before the Supreme Court in the case, declined to comment.

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