WORLD CUP NOTES: SAMPSON QUITS TEAM USA COACHING POSITION
Steve Sampson quit on Monday as the coach of the U.S.
national soccer team. The resignation was announced by U.S.
Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg (AP, 6/29).
NOTES: In the FINANCIAL TIMES' sponsor index, Nike and
adidas lead the sponsor race and it "threatens to become a
two-horse race between the market leaders." Five of adidas'
six teams made the second round, while four of Nike's teams
made it, including Brazil. Puma started the tournament with
five teams, but none survived to the second round (FINANCIAL
TIMES, 6/27)....In N.Y., Jeffrey and Herman Doss, Owners of
the Soccer Sport Supply Company, say that teams like Brazil,
Italy and the U.S. "account for most sales" of World Cup
official jerseys. Also among the "hottest sellers" are
Morocco, South Africa and Jamaica (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28)....An
adidas spokesperson, on charges that its soccer balls were
made by political prisoners at a Chinese prison camp: "We
have to be quick. It can't take us several weeks to figure
out what happened" (Mult., 6/26)....NEWSWEEK's Rana Dogar
writes that gives his award for the World Cup's best TV
commercial to John Woo's Nike "Airport '98" spot (NEWSWEEK,
7/6 issue)....Thursday's U.S.-Yugoslavia game on ABC drew a
3.0 overnight rating. ABC's World Cup average ratings
through five games -- two on weekday afternoons -- are 2.4,
or "about half" of what they were in '94." ESPN and ESPN2
numbers are at 0.8, down 47%. An ABC exec told Leonard
Shapiro: "It's not unexpected, especially with the U.S. team
not doing well, but you knew that going in. We go into this
with our eyes wide open" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/28).