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Adidas is USA Rugby's official kit provider. The sponsorship, which was brokered by USA Rugby's for-profit subsidiary Rugby International Marketing, is less than a year old. Sunday, when the Eagles won the USA Sevens for the first time ever, and the game was shown live on national television, they weren't wearing Adidas. When Martin Iosefo made SportsCenter's Top 10 for his try against Australia, he wasn't wearing the triple stripes.
"We are extremely proud to partner with Adidas and offer our athletes the best athletic apparel possible," RIM CEO David Sternberg said when the kit deal was announced. "Adidas is a world-renowned brand that supplies kits to some of the most successful athletes and teams in the world."
The Eagles had worn Adidas all season, but this weekend they were wearing unbranded Samurai uniforms. As part of the partnership, Adidas is expected to provide their top-of-the-line performance kit, that referred to by Sternberg, to the Eagles. They hadn't been. France and New Zealand, two more Adidas teams who are also core members of the HSBC Sevens World Series, do get performance kit from Adidas, while the Eagles were issued lesser kit. When approached about the disparity, Adidas couldn't produce its performance kit in time, so the decision was made to wear unbranded kit.
This isn't the first sign of trouble with the sponsorship. Last season, the Eagles wore BLK shorts with their Adidas kit because the Adidas bottoms didn't fit right. Age-grade national teams have had trouble getting their kit on time with the proper USA Rugby branding. And early on, the Eagles were wearing stock Adidas uniforms.
It's unclear how the relationship will continue. In Las Vegas, the Eagles also had DHL scrawled on their chest, but that jersey sponsorship is usually a one-off for the home tournament. So the Eagles will almost certainly be wearing different uniforms the rest of the season. Whether they're provided by Adidas or someone else remains to be seen.