The U.S. Soccer Federation said on Wednesday it reached a long-term deal with Nike to extend their apparel partnership along with a focus on elevating the profile of the women’s game globally and promoting inclusivity.
Terms of the deal, which U.S. Soccer said is the largest commercial agreement in the history of the national governing body, were not disclosed but multiple media reports said it was a 10-year agreement.
The partnership with the Oregon-based athletic shoe and apparel company will focus on all levels of the national team, including the senior women’s and men’s teams, all youth, paralympic, futsal and beach teams.
“The men’s game has continued to grow at a steady pace, but I feel like the women’s game is poised for exponential growth, and with that, commercial growth for the organizations as well as the players themselves,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone told Just Women’s Sports. “I think we’re at a point in time where we can quite literally invest in the women’s game to help change the world for the better.”
Among the many priorities, the U.S. Soccer Federation said the extension to a partnership that began in 1995 was grounded around four pillars that were designed to drive exponential growth for the game and positive social change.
“Nike has been such a positive partner for U.S. Soccer for a long time and has played a major role in the growth of the Federation as well as putting tremendous support behind many of our players over the years,” Parlow Cone said.
“To continue this partnership on such a high level, to continue to pursue the vitally important goals we both share and to have access to resources that will boost all areas of the Federation, are things that make us feel extremely positive about the future of soccer in the United States.”
Becca Kerr, Nike VP and GM of North America women’s business at Nike, said in a statement: “We want more kids — especially girls — to fall in love with sport because they had positive early experiences with soccer. Growing the game starts with investing in inclusivity.”
The United States Soccer Federation is negotiating with the union for the USWNT for a collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires Dec. 31.