Adidas and Nike have been fighting for every inch of every pitch in every sport, but the fight is becoming even more intense with the world championship football approaching. Adidas has ruled the footballing world for quite some time, but Nike has clearly been clawing back this past few years.
Nike has almost caught up in Europe
Nike has 14.6 percent of the sports market, while Adidas has 11.4 %. In Europe, the German company can – for now – still hold off Nike, with 13.2 % versus 12.4 %... but Nike’s first fiscal quarter of 2013 (ending 31 August) saw its turnover grow 8 % in Europe, while Adidas had lost 7 % in the same period.
Adidas has been present in the footballing world for forty years: the three-striped logo has featured on many shirts and Adidas has been the ball supplier for world and European championships for decades. The goal for 2014 is to get revenue of at least 2 billion euro from football, lifting the total group turnover to 17 billion euro by 2015.
Nike entered the footballing market in 1994, when the world championship was held in the United States and the sport’s importance grew within the American company. It has gained on Adidas ever since, striking large deals with clubs like Manchester United and FC Barcelona. Analysts estimate the total 2015 revenue around 22 billion euro, but the company does not divulge branch-specific numbers.
Both companies will be focusing on sponsored teams and players during the world championships. Stars like Messi and Özil (and their national teams) are sponsored by Adidas, while Nike can boast with the Brazilian Seleção and the Dutch national team. The Belgian Red Devils are not picking either side: it is the only team at the world cup sponsored by Swiss Burrda.
(Translated by Gary Peeters)