Adidas announced on Monday that it has decided not to pursue an extension to its official apparel deal with the NBA, which expires at the end of the 2016-17 season.
As Adidas slipped to the third biggest shoe and apparel business in the United States in 2014 -- the brand was surpassed by Under Armour -- the NBA made inquiries about the next deal. With two full seasons left on its current deal, Adidas announced it would pull out of future bidding.
"While we have enjoyed a successful long-term relationship with the league, we continually review our partner agreements to ensure they are meeting our investment and delivering on our brand and business needs," Adidas spokesperson Lauren Lamkin said in a statement.
"We are reimagining and reshaping our business and have evolved our strategy to look at new, cutting-edge ways to drive our brand and support our business over the long term. We will invest more in telling stories that matter to our consumer, building category-disrupting innovative products, reinvigorating youth basketball with our new Next Generation programs and doubling our roster of professional athletes to authenticate our brand on-court."
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league would have no comment.
In January, new Adidas North America president Mark King took the unusual step of revealing that the company would sign as many as 250 new NFL endorsers and 250 Major League Baseball endorsers.
The company has been under significant pressure as its business has slipped, while that of competitors Nike and Under Armour has soared. The two top players in the space, who are already marketing partners of the league, are both expected to make serious bids to be the official uniform supplier to the NBA.
Calls to Nike and Under Armour for comment were not immediately returned.
With financial targets missed, Adidas announced last month that it would be looking for a new CEO to replace Herbert Hainer, whose contract expires in 2017.
In 2006, five years into Reebok's 10-year deal with the league, Adidas, which owns Reebok, extended the deal for another 11 years and put its parent company into the forefront on the official deal.
Adidas global basketball manager Chris Grancio told the Portland Business Journal that the current deal, worth a reported $400 million, wasn't as lucrative as the company had hoped.
In an attempt to jump-start its NBA business, Adidas has pushed sleeved jerseys, as the tank top isn't as natural with fans as jerseys in other sports. Company officials have previously insisted that the sleeved jerseys have been successful, but many fans have ripped the look.