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The Universal Magazine

Nike Supplants Adidas for the Mannschaft Jerseys

The football player Cristiano Ronaldo in a stadium, wearing a Nike sweater and holding Nike cleats

The German Football Federation (DFB) has announced the end of its historic partnership with Adidas in favor of Nike starting in 2027. This announcement comes shortly after the unveiling of the latest jersey designed by Adidas for the German team. This innovative design had already received mixed reactions.

This break with Adidas, which has been outfitting the Mannschaft since 1954, has sparked a wave of criticism in Germany, where the decision is seen as an affront to tradition. Adidas, a symbol of German football for decades, notably outfitted the team during their victory at the 1954 World Cup.

Reactions were swift, from fans, media, and even the government. The main argument against the DFB is that they prioritized financial aspects over national identity. According to some sources, the offer from Nike would be substantially more lucrative than that proposed by Adidas.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach among others have expressed their disagreement. They highlight the importance of Adidas’ three stripes as an integral part of German identity.

Adidas should no longer be the national football jersey? An American company instead? I think it’s a bad decision where commerce destroys a tradition and a piece of home… – Karl Lauterbach on X

This transition to Nike marks a significant turning point for the German team. But in today’s football, commercial considerations sometimes outweigh culture.