News / Economy

Nike, Adidas Get Personal in Battle Over Soccer World Cup

The adidas logo is printed on
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8874
JPY
USD
120.83
GBP
USD
0.6497
CAD
USD
1.3271
INR
USD
66.162

Rates may not be current.