German based global sportswear and equipment titan Adidas-Salomon announced Tuesday it is to plough $10 million (€8.12m; £5.61m) annually over the next ten years into sponsorship of the US Major League Soccer championship.

The deal scores another goal for Adidas (number two in the global sporting goods league) in its ongoing match with market leader, Nike. Both are participating in a penalty shootout to determine which rules the global soccer roost.

Despite being the globe's uncontested number one sport, soccer has yet to make it into the bigtime in North America. The Adidas deal is a major stimulus to the US league, now in its ninth year and set to expand from ten to twelve teams.

In addition to the usual branded clothing rights, Adidas will supply match balls, have pitchside advertising, and be the only sports brand advertised during TV broadcasts of MLS games.

More importantly, it will be the only sports brand advertised during English-language broadcasts stateside of the 2006 World Cup from Germany. Says Adidas America ceo Erich Stamminger: "We see the US market as one of the most important markets in terms of growth rate."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff