Global Marketing

Adida’s suspends partnership with Russian Football Union

Recently, Russia began to invade Ukraine, which has left the world in outrage. Many companies have been stopping business in Russia or are worried about how they will continue to run after the invasion. Back in 2008, Adidas signed a long-term partnership with the Russian Football Union, but the company has decided to suspend its association with the Union immediately because of recent events. Adidas was featured significantly when Russia hosted the World Cup in 2018. Since the invasion, the company has joined other sports companies such as FIFA and UEFA in censuring Russia.

The organizations decided that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, would be suspended from participating in FIFA and UEFA competitions, including more than just the World Cup. For example, Russia will also not participate in the Qatar World Cup in November. The country will also not be playing its game against Poland later this month unless it is reinstated by FIFA, which is very unlikely. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is also urging other sports federations worldwide to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes. 

Adidas has been designing and producing the Russian Football Unions uniforms since 2018. The German sports company has also been creating other sports uniforms for years; this can be dated back to the Cold War when Moscow hosted the Olympics in 1980. Adidas had arranged with the Soviet government to create and provide the national team with its uniforms. Adidas reported 584 million euros in sales in 2020 from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

However, Adidas, FIFA, and UEFA are not the only ones to stand with Ukraine. Other companies worldwide have cut partnerships with Russian companies and halted production. UEFA also announced that the 2022 Champions League Final will take place in Paris instead of Russia. Following the invasion of Ukraine, Manchester United ended its sponsorship with Russian Airlines Aeroflot last week, triggering other companies like Adidas and FIFA to do the same. Even if the suspension is an upset to fans, brand loyalty to these companies will increase due to its support of Ukraine.