1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Germany: Habeck 'happy to talk' about Nike-Adidas switch

March 24, 2024

After decades of working with Adidas, the German Football Association said the national team will soon be wearing Nikes. But Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck is not pleased with the move.

Nike emblem and Germany football shirt
The Nike deal is set to commence in 2027Image: Patrick Scheiber/IMAGO

Germany's Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said on Sunday that he's "always happy to talk" with German Football Federation (DFB) president Bernd Neuendorf about the decision to switch from Adidas to Nike as the national team kit manufacturer.

The heads of the German football association previously said the US-based Nike will take over from Adidas, a German company, in 2027.

The move has ruffled feathers in Germany and prompted protests from high-level politicians. On Friday, Habeck praised the 70-year relationship between DFB and Adidas as "a piece of German identity." The economy minister said he "would have liked a bit more local patriotism."

Robert Habeck gives a speech
Habeck has criticized the DFB's decision to switch from Adidas to NikeImage: Hannes P Albert/dpa/picture alliance

DFB head Neuendorf then expressed his shock at Habeck's response, saying it left him "a little stunned," adding that Nike's offer had been "far above" that from Adidas.

Neuendorf also said he would not apologize for the move, but added he was available for talks with Habeck if necessary. 

Bernd Neundorf
Neundorf said he was 'stunned' by Habeck's criticismImage: Federico Gambarini/dpa/picture alliance

Nike reportedly doubled Adidas' offer

On Sunday, Habeck seemed to be softening his tone while commenting on the DFB's decision and the offer of talks.

"First of all, congratulations on the national team's victory yesterday. Joy, commitment and passion — I'm looking forward to the European Championships," Habeck told news agency DPA on Sunday in reference to Germany's 2-0 win over France in friendly international ahead of hosting the European football championships this summer.

"And of course, I'm always happy to talk — perhaps about sport, tradition and capital and also about promoting youth sport."

German business newspaper Handelsblatt, citing industry sources, said Nike will pay the cash-strapped DFB more than €100 million ($108 million) a year from 2027, until 2034, double its current arrangement with Bavaria-based Adidas.

The DFB argued that the additional cash injection would help it fund its regional associations as well as amateur and women's soccer.

Kick off! Where Were You When....?

DPA contributed to this story

John Silk Editor and writer for English news, as well as the Culture and Asia Desks.@JSilk