Bobby Rhine & Adidas Doubles Down

This blog covers the soccer media, so we would be remiss if we didn’t note the premature and sad passing of FC Dallas broadcaster Bobby Rhine.  Only 35 years old, Rhine spent more than 10 years with the Dallas organization, as a player, front office memeber and broadcaster.  From the team website:  “It is an extremely sad day in the history of FC Dallas,” said Doug Quinn, President and CEO of FC Dallas. “Bobby was the voice and face of our club and always a very popular figure with our fans. Everyone connected with FC Dallas has been affected by this tragic news and we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to Bobby’s family. We want to take this opportunity to thank Bobby for his tireless work for our club and acknowledge everything he has done to help grow the game of soccer in our community. He will be greatly missed.”

This news is extremely sad and we add our condolences to those offered by the rest of the soccer community.

One business story today, according to the Sports Business Journal, Major League Soccer’s preeminent corporate benefactor is continued to increase its contribution to the league and growing soccer in the United States.  Just a year after increasing their MLS deal by $25 million per year over 8 years, the merchandise giant is now cozying up to MLS’ youth academies.  SBJ reports that Adidas is now outfitting all teams under the MLS development umbrella, sponsoring the Generation U-17 tournament and investing significant resources in the highest levels of American youth soccer.

The arrangement makes sense for Adidas as it will establish relationships with the top youth players at an even earlier age. These players will grow with Adidas products hopefully (from the company’s perspective), becoming stars the are wed to the brand. From the league’s perspective, the Adidas relationship continues to grow and ensures that a dynamic and prominent corporate entity remains a partner with the league for the long term.