Adidas, Nike tackle for chinese Football rights

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BEIJING -- Fang Zhiyi, one of China's best known football stars, has become entangled in a sponsorship tussle between Adidas and Nike, Beijing Youth Daily reports.

Fang, who plays in the Shenhua Football League in Shanghai, has signed a personal contract with Adidas Company to wear its sportswear in football matches.

But his team, Shenhua, has agreed a sponsorship deal with Adidas rival Nike, which stipulates that Nike provides all the sportswear to the Shenhua team members and also donates $150,000 each year to team funds. The contract specifies that team members must wear the Nike sportswear in matches.

Fang's appearance on the field sporting Adidas gear in several matches has not gone down well in the Nike camp. But, the newspaper reports, Fang's contract with Adidas is still valid.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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