Canada Soccer Announces Landmark Nike Deal With Fantastic Inspirational Video

Canada Soccer is ushering in a new era.

Soccer in Canada has never been better.

The country hosted a wonderful Women’s World Cup in 2015 and will be a co-host for the men’s World Cup in 2026. Christine Sinclair, 35, is one of the best women’s players of her generation and Alphonso Davies, 18, might be one of the best players of his future generation.

Recognizing where Canadian soccer has come from and, more importantly, where it’s going, the Canada Soccer Association announced a landmark new deal with Nike on Tuesday. Starting in January 2019, the Oregon-based sporting goods company will be the official supplier of footwear, apparel and equipment for the Canadian women's and men's national teams. 

“This watershed moment for Canada Soccer is further proof that Canada is a leading soccer nation,” Steven Reed, Canada Soccer president said in a statement. “This new agreement provides recognition of the accelerated advancement of the sport in our country that has been fuelled by our successful hosting of major international competitions, including the most recent record-setting FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 from coast to coast.”

The Women’s World Cup in 2015 was by most all measures a success (we’ll ignore the atrocity of playing a World Cup on turf for now). The 2026 World Cup should be an even bigger deal in a country that more traditionally favors hockey as its most popular sport. 

The Canadian women’s team has long been a regional powerhouse, regularly qualifying for the World Cup and occasionally knocking the USWNT off its perch to win Concacaf titles. The men’s side hasn’t reached those levels — but it’s quickly improving. 

Canada hasn’t qualified for a men’s World Cup since 1986; the Reds finished dead last in their only appearance in FIFA’s grandest competition. But right now Canada has one of its best groups of young players in recent memory.

In addition to Davies, who recently joined Bayern Munich, the Canadian men’s national team has players at Cardiff City (Junior Hoilett), Besiktas (Cyle Larin), Gent (Jonathan David) and Barcelona (Ballou Tabla), not to mention all the players getting plenty of playing time in MLS. A number of internationals have shown loads of promise before turning 20, including Davies, Tabla, David, Zachary Brault-Guillard (Lyon II), Liam Millar (Liverpool U-23) and Alessandro Busti (Juventus U-23).

So soccer in Canada is definitely trending up like a hockey stick on a line graph.

The most inspiring aspect of the Soccer Canada Nike deal on Tuesday was the video put out to commemorate the partnership. The video features Sinclair and Davies as well as some young footballers, one of whom is seen shoveling snow off a pitch, which is probably the first skill all Canadian soccer players must learn.

Short, but superb stuff. 

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI recently introduced Canada as a new playable nation, complete with hockey rinks as unique buildings. But after this Canada Soccer Nike deal, maybe the folks at Firaxis will be inspired to change those hockey rinks to soccer fields.

OK probably not, but still this is a positive step forward for soccer in Canada — and North America as a whole. 

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