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SBD Global/November 7, 2013/Finance

Adidas Looks To 2014 World Cup In Brazil For Boost Against Nike

In its race with market leader Nike, adidas, the world's No. 2 sporting goods maker, "is stumbling," according to Boston & Germano of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Adidas' obstacles range "from a faltering expansion in Russia and weakness in the U.S. to a strong euro and low emerging-market currencies." Football "has remained a bright spot" for adidas, which leads in that market, and the company is hoping that sales ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil "will provide a second wind." The company on Wednesday unveiled its new "Samba Pack" line of cleats, "the first in what will become a steady cascade of new World Cup products, from team jerseys and the match ball to apparel and street wear." Adidas "can expect a boost from the sales of such exclusive products." However, that "may not be enough to stay alone out front" in the global football market anymore. Nike "has been quietly building heft in the field that Adidas once dominated." Adidas Football Division Head Markus Baumann said, "There are only two players in the field of football; there is us as No. 1 and Nike as the challenger." Adidas "set the stage for Thursday's earnings statement with a dire profit warning in September" (WSJ, 11/6).
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