Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday, CEO Kasper Rorsted said no decision had yet been made on whether Adidas would sponsor a team in the LIV series, but that the company wants to “remain a sponsor of the individual.”
Phil Mickelson of the U.S. during the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain, June 8, 2022
Paul Childs | Action Images via Reuters
CEO Kasper Rorsted believes the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf series is part of a “normal evolution” of the sport and said the German sportswear giant will continue to focus on partnerships with individual players.
The PGA Tour has suspended many of its big names over their participation in the breakaway competition, which is in its inaugural season and has caused friction throughout the golfing world after attracting players with enormous fees.
LIV is being bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and critics accuse the series of serving to enhance the kingdom’s image despite persistent concerns about human rights violations and potential ties to 9/11 plotters.
Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Thursday following Adidas’ quarterly earnings report, Rorsted said no decision had yet been made on whether the company would sponsor a team in the LIV series.
Asked for his opinion on the rebel tour, he said: “We think it is a normal evolution that is going on, and eventually it is the bodies who need to decide what they do. We have the same conversation when you look upon the Champions League or the World Cup with UEFA or FIFA.”
Rorsted added that Adidas wants to “remain a sponsor of the individual.”
“We have a very strong point of view of the players, and in essence, we want to make certain that we partner with the best player — we think that is how easy that is.”