Dan Near, Head of adidas Hockey, joins the podcast to talk about the business side of adidas new seven-year partnership with the NHL, and more specifically, the recent release of the league’s jersey redesigns.
As Head of adidas Hockey, Dan Near is responsible for shaping the brand’s hockey strategy and reimagining how to bring the adidas brand story to life through the sport, both on the licensed and branded sides of business. Prior to adidas, Dan was Senior Director, Consumer Product Licensing at the NHL where he built new distribution for licensed products, and crafted strategic initiatives to grow the licensed business across North America in his 10 years with the League.
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- From a team uniform perspective, it’s a year-and-a-half to two-year process from a design brief to jerseys being manufactured and ready to be worn on the ice. For event jerseys such as the Winter Classic, this is accelerated.
- The time frame for the Vegas Golden Knights brand and jersey development was shorter. The adidas design team was part of the process from the beginning alongside Bill Foley, the NHL leadership team, and people from the league office.
- adidas partnership with the NHL is not all about selling jerseys and t-shirts. Associating with hockey helps them become a more powerful brand in North America.
- Jersey ads is not something adidas is endorsing or against. They will work with the NHL on whatever the future of hockey looks like.
- There are plans to leverage players like Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid for global events and global product launches, not just in a hockey capacity.
- While there is no exact timeline, adidas is working with the NHL and teams to introduce third jerseys in the near term.