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World Cup Is the Next Big Battleground for Nike and Adidas

Posted on the 04 March 2014 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw

Nike and Adidas, the world’s two largest sports brands, wage battles for market supremacy in every major sport. The next big battle surrounds the FIFA World Cup held in Brazil later this year.

Long before the first match begins, the two mammoth sporting brands are staking their claim on teams and individual players. In 2013, U.S.-based Nike owned 14.6% of the global sporting goods market while Germany-based Adidas owned 11.4%. That’s according to data reported by Euromonitor.

When it comes to soccer, Adidas has consistently been the most dominant brand. That’s because for more than 40 years, Adidas has decorated soccer attire and shoes around the world with its easily recognizable logo.

Adidas is also deeply embedded in the soccer world. The company has strong relationships with German club Bayern Munich as the owner of 9% of the team. Adidas is also closely connected with FIFA for which it has designed the official World Cup attire. Adidas projects that 2014 will be a record-breaking year, surpassing two billion euros in soccer sales and 17 billion euros in total sales.

Nike is not resting on the sidelines, however. Although it only entered the soccer market 20 years ago, Nike has quickly caught up to Adidas. One of the reasons for its success in the sport is its partnerships with a list of clubs that includes the English champion Manchester United.

Nike projects that it can surpass Adidas in soccer by making a big push during the World Cup. It projects total sales of 30 billion euros worldwide. However, Nike does not publicly report sales projections in the soccer market.

Perhaps the biggest advantage that Nike has over Adidas is that Nike sponsors the Brazilian national team. This gives Nike a big marketing boost because the team has won the World Cup a record-breaking five times. Also, the country has become known for stylish soccer, and Nike directly benefits from that image.

However, don’t count out Adidas. It is making an aggressive push with what is known as “ambush marketing.” Adidas is creating special designs made specifically to erode Nike’s association with Brazilian soccer and courting other Brazilian teams.

In the days leading up to the World Cup, fans of the sport as well as casual onlookers can expect to see both brands battle it out on television and the soccer field for worldwide sporting good supremacy.

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