New Balance is suing AS Roma due to the club’s recent long-term agreement with Adidas. The existing technical sponsorship agreement between New Balance and the Serie A club for the production of soccer jerseys, which expires at the end of the current 2022/23 season, has not been renewed. Following press speculation about AS Roma’s switch from New Balance to Adidas this summer, also reported by SGI Europe at the time, Adidas was finally revealed as the new club’s technical partner in an exclusive report by Footy Headlines on Nov. 13.

However, according to Calcio e Finanza, New Balance initiated arbitration proceedings against AS Roma before the International Chamber of Commerce in June 2022 based on the club’s financial statements, which Calcio e Finanza recently had access to. New Balance’s legal action stems from a “right of first refusal” clause in the sponsorship contract. If exercised in the presence of competing bids, this clause would oblige AS Roma to renew its contract with New Balance on the condition that the latter matches the terms offered by the third party. New Balance argues that it had matched the terms offered to Roma by Adidas. Roma, however, claims that New Balance had not matched the contract terms proposed by Adidas in their extension offer.

The outcome of the proceeding will be known soon since the arbitration award must be rendered before Feb. 11, 2023. Adidas previously served as a technical sponsor of the Italian club from 1991 to 1994.