Athletics-British team switches to Nike from Adidas in 7-year deal

LONDON, Sept 5 Thu Sep 5, 2013 9:09am EDT

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LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - U.S. sportswear company Nike will provide kit to the British athletics team until 2020, winning the contract after a legal battle involving current supplier Adidas.

The new agreement will take effect from Jan.1 and will include the world athletics championships to be hosted in London in 2017.

"The scale and length of their commitment is significant and demonstrates their confidence in the future of British Athletics," said UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos, welcoming the deal with Nike, the world's largest sportswear company.

Media reports said the contract was worth 15 million pounds ($23.44 million), double the current deal. Athletics is enjoying its highest profile in Britain since the 1980s following the excitement generated by the London Olympics last year.

Adidas lost a legal challenge to the planned switch to Nike. A court in the Netherlands where the case was filed dismissed an argument that it had the right to match any rival offer.

"Adidas is disappointed with the court's decision because we believed an agreement had been reached to continue the partnership," the German company said in a statement.

Adidas, the world's second largest sportswear group, remains the kit supplier for the British Olympic team.

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