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CUP CRAZY: NIKE KICKING ITS WAY INTO THE SOCCER MARKET

          Nike "may be going hard at soccer" by spending more
     than $40M around the World Cup -- more than "it has spent on
     any single event" -- but it is also "going soft ... trying
     to play it straight in the sport that matters most outside
     the U.S.," according to Stefan Fatsis, who examines Nike's
     growing soccer effort in the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Nike has
     climbed to third in the world and second in the U.S. in the
     soccer market, but "it hasn't cut into" adidas' nearly 40%
     "dominance."  Reebok's former head of global sports
     marketing, John Boulter, on Nike: "For a long time, they
     were just the brash Americans throwing money at soccer.  But
     as you watch the World Cup now, you're very conscious of the
     swoosh."  Fatsis writes, "You can't help but be," as Nike
     personnel are visiting almost 70 French towns, the company
     built a $7M theme park in Paris and advertisements are
     "strategically placed along roads and subway stations
     leading to World Cup stadiums" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/2).
          WORLD CUP NOTES: Mars Inc. said that sales of Snickers
     have risen 20% since the World Cup began.  A current ad in
     England shows members of England's national soccer team
     eating the candy bar (BLOOMBERG/HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/2)...
     Overnight ratings for ABC's four games last weekend averaged
     a 2.9, or 1.7 million households.  ESPN has averaged 582,000
     households for its 23 games, while ESPN2 has averaged
     292,000 households through 22 games.  Univision has averaged
     774,000 households for its 54 games (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
     7/2)....In N.Y., WXTV-Univision averaged a 3.3/9 for its
     Argentina-England match on Tuesday, and for the final 15
     minutes, it outdrew every TV station in N.Y., except for
     WABC, which had "Oprah" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/2). A record 26
     million people in Britain watched the match (Mult., 7/2). 

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