May 5, 2014
By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
The 2014 FIFA World Cup should only help Adidas and Nike boost worldwide sales of soccer related merchandise, which last fiscal year reached all-time highs for both companies. Adidas, an official World Cup sponsor, expects soccer sales to hit $2.8 billion this year, while Nike’s sales should come in around $2 billion. Every four years, the World Cup gives Adidas and Nike the chance to slug it out for market share. While Nike’s soccer business has grown immensely in the last two decades, the company remains a distant second to Adidas on the international stage.
For this upcoming World Cup in Brazil, Nike is taking a more unique approach to advertising. The company’s “Risk Everything” campaign features not just international soccer icons such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, but also NBA star Kobe Bryant, UFC fighter Anderson Silva, and the Incredible Hulk. Leveraging stars from other sports should help Nike boost sales in the U.S., where soccer isn’t as popular as in the rest of the world.