Commentary

U.S. Soccer renews Nike deal through 2022

By Paul Kennedy

Nike, a U.S. Soccer partner since 1995, will be providing men's and women's national team uniforms for nine more years.

The agreement, which was set to expire at the end of 2014, will continue through 2022.

"Nike has been an outstanding partner and shares our long-term vision for progress, innovation and player development," said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in a statement. "We have enjoyed a tremendous history together that began as we both looked to elevate soccer in this country to new heights, and we look forward to building on our progress."

Nike has supported the federation at all levels. Besides the U.S. national teams, it has backed the U.S. under-17 residency program, which opened in 1999, and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which began with the 2007-08 season.

"Nike is extremely proud to continue our longstanding partnership with U.S. Soccer," said Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards. "The partnership reinforces Nike's leadership in soccer, as we continue to deliver game-changing innovations on the pitch and share the same vision to further grow the sport as a whole in the U.S."

BRADENTON CVB GETS BEHIND MLS PRESEASON. The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has allocated funds to MLS that will be used by the league and its teams for a national campaign promoting the preseason activities at IMG Academy. Six MLS teams -- Chicago, Columbus, D.C. United, FC Dallas, New England and Toronto FC -- will use IMG Academy as an Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason.

MEXICO'S APERTURA FINAL DRAWS HIGHEST NUMBERS SINCE 2006. Univision's coverage of the second leg of the Liga MX Apertura 2013 final between Leon and Club America from the Azteca Stadium averaged 3.5 million viewers, making it the most-viewed Apertura final since 2006.
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