News / Economy

Nike, Adidas Get Personal in Battle Over Soccer World Cup

The adidas logo is printed on "Brazuca", the official FIFA World Cup 2014 soccer ball, during the annual shareholders meeting in Fuerth, Germany, May 8, 2014.
The adidas logo is printed on "Brazuca", the official FIFA World Cup 2014 soccer ball, during the annual shareholders meeting in Fuerth, Germany, May 8, 2014.
Reuters
U.S. sportswear group Nike is banking on its sponsorship of more of the world's best-known soccer stars than Adidas in its battle to overtake the German firm as the sport's top-selling brand at its World Cup this summer.
 
Nike has signed six of the 10 most marketable footballers in the world, to just three for Adidas and one for smaller German brand Puma, according to a new ranking by sports marketing research group Repucom published on Wednesday.
 
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, sponsored by Nike, tops the Repucom ranking, with almost 84 percent of people around the world saying they recognize the Real Madrid striker, helping to sell over one million shirts with his name on the back in 2013.
 
In second place is Lionel Messi of Argentina, front man for the Adidas campaign who scores 76 percent global awareness according to Repucom - his marketability little dented by a mixed run of form for Barcelona this season.

 
Portugal's football team forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives to an interview during the presentation of new Nike football boots in Madrid, April 25, 2014.Portugal's football team forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives to an interview during the presentation of new Nike football boots in Madrid, April 25, 2014.
x
Portugal's football team forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives to an interview during the presentation of new Nike football boots in Madrid, April 25, 2014.
Portugal's football team forward Cristiano Ronaldo arrives to an interview during the presentation of new Nike football boots in Madrid, April 25, 2014.
The appeal of the extrovert Ronaldo, who took the crown as the world's best player from Messi in January, is helped by his use of Twitter, where he has 26 million followers to just two million for the more retiring Argentine.
 
Ronaldo probably helps sell shirts even when he isn't wearing one - he poses nude on the cover of the latest Spanish Vogue with his model girlfriend Irina Shayk - though the branding benefits are shared as Adidas sponsors Real Madrid.
 
“While it is primarily about performance on the pitch, a player's appeal is about a whole range of variables. With a footballer, you see everything, on the pitch and off the pitch, week in, week out,” said Repucom founder Paul Smith.
 
“Athletes like Ronaldo have something unique that if you could bottle it and sell it, you would do nothing else.”
 
Nike tries to do just that with a glitzy ad featuring Ronaldo - and Shayk - in which boys playing football in the local park end up scoring a penalty in a huge stadium against their heroes, including others from the Repucom top 10 such as England's Wayne Rooney and Brazil's Neymar.
 
Adidas has retaliated with a new ad launched last Saturday which shows Messi dreaming about his rivals such as Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany, Luis Suarez of Uruguay and Dani Alves of Brazil, none of whom feature in the Repucom top ranking.
 
The Nike ad has already attracted over 67 million views on YouTube since it was launched a month ago, while the Adidas spot has been viewed almost 29 million times in just three days.
 
Adidas on the run
 
Adidas, which has long dominated the market for soccer boots, shirts and balls, is facing a fierce challenge from Nike, the world's biggest sportswear company that has only been a serious player in soccer for the last 20 years.
 
While Adidas has supplied the match ball for the World Cup since 1970 and has extended its sponsorship of the competition to 2030, Nike is for the first time kitting out more teams - 10 out of 32 finalists - including hosts and favorites Brazil.
 
“Nike's sponsorship of the host's national football team alone gives it a massive competitive edge,” said Euromonitor analyst Magdalena Kondej, predicting it would allow the U.S. firm to extend its share of the Brazilian sportswear market from 12.1 percent now, with Adidas currently only on 5.5 percent.
 
Adidas, which is supplying nine teams including reigning champions Spain, as well as Argentina and Germany, expects to make a record 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) from football this year, still exceeding Nike's $2 billion of soccer turnover.
 
“Football is the DNA of our company. We want to clearly show that we are number one in football,” Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told journalists last week.
 
Hainer acknowledged that Adidas faced a “head-to-head” race with Nike in the soccer shoe market, but predicted Adidas would still sell 2 million pairs of special World Cup boots and significantly more balls than at the last World Cup in 2010.
 
Nike believes it has already overtaken Adidas in boots, including in its rival's home market Germany.
 
While Adidas will be supplying the German kit, many of the country's top players now wear Nike boots, with nine members of the team that started against Poland this month sporting Nike.
 
However, Hainer dismissed suggestions Adidas had not signed the right stars, saying 14 of the 27 members of the German squad would be wearing boots with Adidas' trademark three stripes.
 
Meanwhile, Puma, whose only player in the Repucom top 10 is former France striker Thierry Henry, is resorting to a stunt to attract attention: it has persuaded players such as Italy's maverick Mario Balotelli, Marco Reus of Germany and Cesc Fabregas of Spain to wear one pink and one blue “Tricks” boot.
 
“I have to be honest, the first time I saw the Tricks boots, I thought the Puma guy was mad. But when I realized he wasn't, I was already excited,” Balotelli said.
 
“It is exactly the reason why I chose to be with Puma, they dare to be different and everyone knows that I do as well.”

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8893
JPY
USD
118.31
GBP
USD
0.6660
CAD
USD
1.2459
INR
USD
61.427

Rates may not be current.