WHICH NATIONAL TEAMS ARE THE MOST LOYAL TO THEIR EQUIPMENT COMPANIES
Brazil with Nike, Germany with Adidas, Austria with PUMA. Which teams have the longest partnership with a manufacturer? Here is the full list.
Since 2011, Nike has taken over the French team’s partnership contract from Adidas and has already signed its tenth consecutive year on the Les Bleus jersey. While clubs are often restless when it comes to equipment suppliers and the market is intense between the various brands, national teams are often more loyal and are in it for the long term.
In addition to the presence on the national team’s jersey, it is regularly a large-scale partnership that is put in place and that influences various branches of the federations. The notion of stability is therefore important within the national teams. But which selection is the most loyal to its equipment supplier? Any ideas? Here are the Top 15 around the world.
15: AUSTRALIA – NIKE SINCE 2004
In 15th place in the ranking, we find Australia. With Nike since 2004 and after having collaborated with Adidas, Umbro, or the Kingroo brand, it is with the American equipment manufacturer that Australia has been evolving for nearly 17 years. The contract runs until 2023.
14: ITALY – PUMA SINCE 2003
Italy has been married to PUMA for 19 years. If we all still remember the Kappa shirts used by the Italians during Euro 2000, it is the German brand that has been behind the design of the outfits since 2003. The Italian Federation has recently announced that Adidas will become the new supplier of the national team’s jerseys. After 18 years of collaboration, PUMA and the Squadra Azzura will therefore see their road separated and Adidas will land on the jersey of Italy from 2023.
13: ARGENTINA – ADIDAS SINCE 2001
If Reebok had not been Argentina’s equipment supplier between 1999 and 2001, the partnership between Argentina and Adidas would not be blowing out its 20th candle but rather its 30th! Partner of the Albiceleste since 2001, the brand with the three stripes has indeed a particular history with the Argentine national team since it has known three different passages. 1973-1979, 1990-1998, and 2001-XXXX. Nevertheless, how can we forget the legendary passage of Le Coq Sportif which will remain forever associated with the coronation of Argentina and the God Maradona in 1986?
12: CROATIA – NIKE SINCE 2000
After changing their equipment supplier four times in ten years, Croatia seems to have found its partner since 2000 since Nike has already exceeded 21 years with the 2018 World Cup runner-up. While uhlsport, Lotto, Kappa, and Lotto again had taken place on the chequered jersey in the past, it is indeed the brand with the comma that is now in charge of this easily identifiable jersey.
11: JAPAN – ADIDAS SINCE 1999
Asics, PUMA, Adidas. In its entire history, Japan has only known three equipment manufacturers. While the three entities were used in a rather random way during the 70s and 80s, it is Adidas that has been the only master on board since 1999. This collaboration is interesting for the brand with three stripes as it allows it to reach the Asian market, which is still very important.
10: SWITZERLAND – PUMA SINCE 1998
For more than 21 years, PUMA has been present on the jersey of the Swiss national team. Having become a trusted partner after working with the Blacky brand and Lotto in the 1990s, PUMA has done better than its rival Adidas, since the other German brand only stayed for thirteen years as an official supplier (176-1989).
9: BRAZIL – NIKE SINCE 1997
Like the French team’s jersey, Brazil’s jersey is probably the most important of all the national teams. Brazil has been associated with Nike since 1997 and the association seems so natural that we almost forget that Umbro was present between 1991 and 1996, that the Topper brand remained on the Seleçao jersey for ten years (1981-1991) and that Adidas was even on the Brazil kit between 1977 and 1981.
8: PORTUGAL – NIKE SINCE 1997
After fourteen years with Adidas (1980-1994) and a short year with the Olympics, Portugal joined forces with Nike in 1997. A choice that might have seemed daring at the time, since Portugal had just failed to qualify for several Euros and World Cups, but which finally became relevant over the years and thanks to a certain Cristiano Ronaldo, also a Nike ambassador…
7: SOUTH KOREA – NIKE SINCE 1996
Nike is still on the other side of the world. Like Adidas and Japan, Nike has established a long-term partnership with South Korea and is thus offering itself a beautiful showcase within the Asian market. Moreover, during the presentation of the jerseys in 2020, the American brand made Korea one of its strong points with the release of a “Korea” color for the Mercurial, no less.
6: NETHERLANDS – NIKE SINCE 1996
Umbro, Adidas, Lotto, and Nike. Since 1966 and the first time an equipment supplier appeared on the Dutch jersey, four brands have succeeded one another. If Adidas will remain emblematic as a partner in 1988 when the Netherlands won the Euro, Nike is on the other hand the brand with the greatest history as it has been present on the Orange jersey since 1996.
5: UNITED STATES – NIKE SINCE 1995
Let’s move on to the Top 5 and the United States is in the spotlight. Although soccer has taken a long time to become an important sport in the USA, Nike anticipated this by signing the national team in 1995 and will continue to do so until 2022. Before the Portland-based brand, it was Adidas that was present on the US national team’s jerseys, a heresy in a country where Nike reigns supreme over the sport.
4: CZECH REPUBLIC – PUMA SINCE 1994
Since their first match in 1994 against Turkey, the Czech Republic has been wearing PUMA jerseys. PUMA has been a staple of the national team for almost 30 years and this is not likely to change anytime soon.
3: SPAIN – ADIDAS SINCE 1991
Spain’s 30-year history with Adidas could have ended abruptly. The official supplier of the Spanish national team after taking over from Le Coq Sportif, which had remained on the jersey for eight years, Adidas almost fell by the wayside in 2019 due to “fruitless conversations with Adidas and the impossibility of reaching an agreement”. In the end, it was the brand with the three stripes that designed the jerseys and the story seems to be back to normal between the two entities.
2: AUSTRIA – PUMA SINCE 1976
Since 1976, PUMA has been Austria’s partner and since 1976 it is the German brand that designs the national team’s shirts. A rather incredible loyalty between the two entities but which proves that partnerships between a selection and an equipment manufacturer are stronger than those with the clubs.
1: GERMANY – ADIDAS SINCE 1954
IMBATTABLE! Since 1954, Adidas has been the partner of the German national team. And you can look anywhere in the world, no team does better and probably will do better than these two entities. With the contract already extended until 2026, Adidas and Germany will continue to enjoy the same happy days as they have for almost 70 years. But while Adidas has remained the undisputed partner of the national team, it is interesting to note that it was Erima that was behind the jerseys in the 1970s. Erima was then a subsidiary of Adidas!