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Industry Reacts to Russia-Ukraine Conflict


At least three major athletic brands have suspended sales in Russia following the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine late last month and some are vowing to donate funds to support relief efforts.  Meanwhile five global sporting goods trade groups, including the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (TSMA), and the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) have joined the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) in donating to the UN Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. The WFSGI is encouraging all its members to donate to the organization or another providing relief to the war-torn country.

Adidas was among the first major brands to act following the conflict’s onset. The Three Stripes announced on March 1 that it would immediately suspend its partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFU). The current five-year Adidas-RFU contract, slated to expire on Dec. 31, is worth a reported $14.4 million annually. In 2020, Adidas generated annual sales more than $650 million in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The German company, which has been the uniform supplier to Russia’s men’s and women’s national soccer teams since 2009, is likely to address its go-forward strategy inside Russia during its year-end results call today.

Meanwhile, Nike and Puma both decided last week to temporarily close their retail stores in Russia. Initially, the Swoosh suspended purchase availability on its website or app within the country before deciding to shutter its retail doors on Mar. 3. On the humanitarian front, the Nike Foundation intends to donate $1 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund and the International Rescue Committee.

Puma, which reportedly generates less than 5 percent of annual revenues from Russia and Ukraine, decided to close all its stores in market during the first weekend of March. Days earlier on Mar. 3, Under Armour said it was partnering with unspecified humanitarian groups to provided needed supplies to the displaced from Ukraine and stopping all shipments into Russian sales channels. “We are proud to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s attack on their democracy and will do what we can as a global company where standing for equality matters,” Under Armour said in a statement.