Looks like adidas and PUMA are set to go head to head over the sponsorship deal for River Plate, with the Three Stripes’ deal with the Argentinian side set to finish at the end of 2021.

The adidas x River Plate partnership commenced back in 1982, making it one of the longest-running for adidas, second only to the German national team and Bayern Munich and also meaning that it would potentially celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. But looking to put a spanner in those celebrations are adidas’s perennial rivals PUMA, who are looking to pick up the sponsorship rights for the Argentinian side from right under adidas’s nose.

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With the current deal set to end at the end of this year and as part of the terms of it, River were allowed to receive formal offers from 1 July 2021, and PUMA duly stepped up. According to Argentinian sports newspaper Olé, they made an official offer to take over from adidas as River Plate’s official kit supplier, and that offer exceeds the sum currently paid by the Three Stripes by around 30 percent. Adidas currently pay River US $ 1.8 million per year, but River also get the income from royalties, about 12 percent of the sales.

But the caveat and main hurdle to a deal between River and PUMA happening is that adidas reserve the right to match the offer of any competitor up until 1 November, and even thereafter propose a higher amount until 31 December in order to secure the extension with River.

An additional factor that may or may not have a bearing is the fact that adidas took on a new partnership with River’s bitter rivals, Boca Juniors back in January 2020. Suggestions are that Boca earn around 20 percent more than River from their deal, and though there’s no official confirmation, it’d be understandable that there that this new partnership unsettled the hierarchy of the Núñez club, causing some feelings of discontent that could fuel a potential breakaway, or at least encourage the exploration of other potential suitors.

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So the future of River Plate’s relationship with adidas is in the balance, with PUMA waiting in the wings to swoop in. And that’s prompted concept designers to go to work creating options for the latter should they grab the rights. Designer Soccept put his unique spin on the pairing under their theme Crafted from Culture, which features the reproduction of the dome of the Teatro de Colon in Buenos Aires. Edged in gold it celebrates the club's 120th anniversary.

Then, using fifakitcreator.com, Kika38 played with the aesthetics of the iconic sash, running a swirling graphic through the centre, bordering it in black and repeating the pattern in faded sublimated diagonals that run across the entire shirt.

For an away option, designer Cenk Ünal used designfootball.com to create an outstanding panelled graphic that ran across the entire jersey, with the red sash present across the front. Lot of time for this. This concept was seemingly created way back in February 2021… looks like Cenk has a decent source…

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