Adidas Tops Nike With Both World Cup Final Teams, But Competition Will Go On
With adidas sponsoring both teams in Sunday's World Cup final, it "has declared victory over U.S. rival Nike," according to Emma Thomasson of REUTERS. The two companies "dominate" a football kit industry worth more than $5B a year, sharing more than 80% of the market for many products. Adidas will be on both finalists' jerseys for the first time since '90 and on many of their star players' boots as well. Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said, "Adidas will be the most visible brand by far in the World Cup final." Hainer "had predicted a Germany-Argentina final well before the two teams beat Nike-backed Brazil and the Netherlands in the semis." Despite the fact Nike teams did not make the final, it "sees no sign of growth in soccer slowing down." CEO Mark Parker said that Nike "has already overtaken Adidas in boot sales in most countries and predicts a repeat in the current fiscal year of the 21 percent rise in soccer sales the company saw in 2013/14." Parker: "The United States offers huge potential in particular, enthusiasm for football is there in any case. And in China there are tremendous growth opportunities." The determination of adidas to stay ahead in the sport "is set to be underlined by a pricey long-term kit supply deal it is expected to seal" with ManU, replacing Nike. Adidas shares, hit in recent months by exposure to Russia and other volatile emerging markets, "fell to a 16-month low on Wednesday on concerns around the price of the Manchester United deal." The stock was down 0.8% by 11:06am GMT. Warburg Research analyst Joerg Frey said, "The possible deal with Manchester United would lead to rising marketing costs and the profit dynamism of adidas is also weak." According to sports app theScore, players wearing the adidas boots scored 78 of the 166 World Cup goals so far, not counting penalties (REUTERS, 7/10).