(Adds Nike comment)
By Keith Weir
CURITIBA, Brazil, June 20 (Reuters) - U.S. sportswear group Nike will supply the orange shirts worn by the Dutch soccer team until at least 2026 after agreeing to extend their long-running sponsorship agreement.
Nike has sponsored Dutch soccer since 1996, one of its first major deals in the sport.
“We are very proud of this early extension of our current partnership,” said Bert van Oostveen, director of professional soccer at the Dutch FA.
Nike, the world’s largest sportswear group, and Adidas are disputing market leadership in soccer, a sport the German company had long dominated.
“The Dutch FA was one of Nike’s first major football sponsorships and has been instrumental in helping us on our journey to become the world’s most innovative and leading football brand,” said Dermott Cleary, vice-president of Nike Football.
Nike sponsors 10 of the 32 countries at the World Cup, including hosts Brazil, while Germany is the kit supplier for nine and Puma has eight teams.
The Dutch, instantly recognisable in their orange shirts, have a reputation for stylish soccer and have been World Cup runners-up on three occasions.
They have qualified for the last 16 after winning their first two group games, with the highlight a 5-1 drubbing of 2010 champions Spain.
Writing by Keith Weir, editing by Ed Osmond