Adidas Scoring Sales With World Cup Products, Presence

Adidas said it expects to sell 13 million official 2010 World Cup game balls.June 21, 2010: The 2010 FIFA World Cup has just about reached its midway point but is already scoring benefits for adidas, which is an official sponsor, supplier and licensee for the month-long event.

During a press conference on June 21, adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said that the company has seen "record sales of at least $1.9 billion in its soccer category" this year as a direct result of the World Cup. According to Hainer, that represents a 15% increase from soccer-related sales in 2008 and a 25% increase from the 2006 World Cup, which was held in adidas' back yard in Germany.

"In the football category, we picked up just where we left off in 2009, leveraging our involvement with the FIFA World Cup 2010, and utilizing our convincing portfolio of products to incredible success," Hainer said during the press conference at the company's headquarters. "After the first ten days it is already clear that this World Cup will be a great success for adidas . . . We will not only achieve our ambitious goals in football, we will over-achieve them. "

Adidas official World Cup shirts include Germany (above) and host nation South Africa (right).Citing specific soccer-related products, Hainer said that Q1 2010 sales of soccer goods were up 26%, and that adidas projects selling more jerseys, footballs and soccer shoes than ever. The company's official status with FIFA includes all game balls and uniforms worn by referees, ball boys and all FIFA officials. Individual national teams, however, are able to negotiate their own deals for uniforms: adidas is outfitting 12 of the 32 squads that began the tournament on June 11; rival Nike has nine teams, including the U.S., and also England, which is outfitted by Nike division Umbro. Puma has seven.

Nike has not yet released World Cup-related sales figures. But the Portland, Ore.-based company has already said it expects its "Write the Future" campaign to continue to generate global interest.

"The jerseys are doing much better than expected," Hanier said, sharing Q1 figures in which more than 6.5 million replica jerseys were sold. He also said the company anticipates selling more than 13 million of the official Jabulani game balls this year.

Although some players and coaches at the World Cup have criticized the new ball, Hainer spoke about it in positive terms. "[The Jabulani is] rounder than any ball we have ever made, more aerodynamic and goes faster."

Overall, according to Hanier, "Our football business is growing worldwide. This underlines the global power this tournament has. No matter how you look at it, in terms of sales, market share and visibility, adidas is and will remain the leading football brand."

While Soccer Fans Count Goals, Marketers Count $$$

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