The IOC has announced that from January 2013 all International Olympic Committee members and staff will have kit and equipment provided to them by the US sportswear giant Nike, replacing Japanese manufacturer Mizuno.
The new deal will last until 2016 and cover the next Winter and Summer Olympic Games (in Sochi and Rio). Nike Brand President Charlie Denson said the company were "honoured to be working with the IOC and we look forward to this being the start of a long and successful relationship”.
This news may be viewed as a blow to adidas, as the German manufacturer and the Olympics had been viewed as almost synonymous since the 1980s, with the last three Summer Olympics having adidas as the official sportswear supplier.
However, in recent years the restriction on the brand using its famous three stripes on apparel during the Games - when they continue to be worn in football's Uefa and Fifa competitions, where adidas is a partner - had led many to believe that any relationship may be breaking down. With both Puma and Nike lobbying for the stripes' removal, to mirror the limiting of trademarks of other manufacturers, the latter has now gone a step further and secured one of the most marketable agreements in world sport.
Timo Lumme, the Managing Director of the IOC's Television and Marketing division, described Nike as "the world's leading sports and fitness company" when announcing the agreement. Nike had supplied the four independent Olympic athletes who competed under the IOC flag at London 2012, causing speculation that a more significant official deal was in the offing.
The company has also been reported as an official partner of the Rio 2016 organisers, though this is yet to be confirmed.