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New deal establishes Nike as league's official uniform provider

CHICAGO -- Nike Inc. will become the NFL's official uniform provider in 2012 as part of an agreement involving the league and seven apparel partners, ousting rival Reebok to also provide all fan apparel.

Reebok will remain the league's official outfitter through the 2011 season. Beginning in April 2012, the official partners also include New Era Cap Co. Inc., Under Armour Inc., Gill, VF Corp., Outerstuff Ltd. and '47 Brand.

Terms for any of the deals weren't disclosed.

New Era will handle on-field headwear. Under Armour will remain the sponsor of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Gill will manufacture fan gear, as will VF. Outerstuff will continue as the league's youth apparel provider, and '47 Brand will do headwear for fans.

Reebok, which is owned by Adidas AG, said in a statement that it has enjoyed its decade-long patnership with the NFL.

Nike had been a uniform supplier in the mid-1990s, the NFL said.

Shares of Nike hit a new 52-week high of $83.40 before slipping back to close down 9 cents at $81.89. Shares of VF Corp. fell 37 cents to $84.87, while shares of Under Armour rose 48 cents to $46.40.

"We believe our agreement with the NFL enhances the Nike brand, and provides a significant opportunity to drive growth across the business -- both in our performance products and sportswear," said Charlie Denson, president of Nike Brand.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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