SBD/October 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Loss By Mexico's Men's National Soccer Team Could Prove Costly For Adidas, Nike

Hernandez, along with half the Mexican side, wears Nike cleats

A loss for Mexico’s men’s national soccer team in its match with Panama on Friday “would be stunning not only to the team and its fans,” but to “hand-wringing” execs at Nike and adidas, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. A loss for Mexico could "mean the unthinkable" with the team "not appearing in next year's FIFA World Cup in Brazil." Nike and adidas "know that World Cup merchandise sales would suffer if Mexico doesn't end up with one of the 32 places in the world's most-watched sporting event." Nike, adidas and Puma in World Cup years "all build an increase in soccer-related sales into their budget forecasts -- from team jerseys to shoes." Mexico is particularly important to companies that "have a financial interest in the World Cup." But a win by Mexico Friday night is "arguably more [important] to Adidas than to Nike." Nike's interest stems from "half of the Mexico national team" wearing Nike cleats, including" F Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. However, adidas "outfits the men's national team, and the Mexican team is one of Adidas' most prominent federations along with" Spain, Argentina and Germany. adidas contends that "just as many Mexican national jerseys were sold" in the U.S. during the '10 World Cup "as were jerseys of the U.S. team, which is outfitted by Nike." adidas America Soccer Dir Ernesto Bruce said that the company's soccer leadership has "not seriously addressed a scenario in which Mexico does not qualify." Its deal with Mexico began in '07 and ends in December '14 (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/11).

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