Nike on track to beat Adidas in World Cup jersey battle

In a World Cup brimming with upsets, Nike looks on track to defeat archrival Adidas in the closely watched jersey sponsorship battle. Jane Lanhee Lee reports

(Reuters) – In the battle of World Cup jersey sponsorships, Nike is poised to beat out soccer juggernaut and arch rival Adidas.

With the eight countries now set to duke it out on the field in the quarter finals, Nike represents four teams, Adidas three, and Puma has one.

And it’s as much about money as it is egos in the jersey wars, says Reuters Noel Randewich whose been keeping score.


“There was a blow to Adidas last week when Germany was unexpectedly knocked out of the World Cup. On the other hand, Nike, which has really never been on the same level as Adidas is in soccer is doing very well this in terms of the companies, or the teams that its sponsoring at the World Cup.”

According to one analyst, in the 2014 World Cups games, Germany accounted for a third of Adidas’ roughly 9 million team jersey sales, and 10 percent of those sales resulting from Germany won the tournament.

Heading into this year’s World Cup, Adidas downplayed its potential effect on sales, pointing to Russia’s tepid economy. But the World Cup remains a major marketing opportunity for Adidas, which is one of seven FIFA partners and the supplier of World Cup match ball since 1970.


“It has been a major issue, the way they’ve bet on those teams in terms of their marketing and the strips they wear, they’ve suffered as a result. It’s not a problem of Adidas’ own making, it’ s simply the way things have fallen. But it is, I think, a concern for sales. In the near term, you will see a hit over the next couple of quarters, but it will subside. But again, it just gives Nike just a bit of an advantage over its rivals.”

And the battle also seems to be playing out in stocks.

Since the start of the World Cup, Nike’s stock is up over 3 percent – Adidas meanwhile has lost about 5 percent.

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