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Friday
Apr302010

UPDATED: At The 2010 World Cup, Nike Wants To Take The Shirt Off Of Adidas' Back

Nike's U.S. national team uniforms for the 2010 World Cup.April 30, 2010: Not all of the competition at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa will be about which country and player puts the ball into the net most often.

Adidas has been an official supplier and licensee of the FIFA World Cup tournaments since 1970, and its current deal runs through 2014 with the event in Brazil. During the event, it will outfit 12 national teams including host South Africa. It will have the official FIFA World Cup ball in every match. Adidas signage and marketing will cover the month-long tournament.

So what! says rival Nike.

Of the 32 teams in the World Cup beginning June 11, ten will be outfitted by Nike or a division of the company, including the U.S. That's a lot of global and domestic time for a company that is not an official FIFA partner. Adidas has seen this before as an official IOC partner at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Nike worked its way in then, too, by outfitting 22 of the 28 competing Chinese federations and nearly every U.S. athlete, among others.

The U.S. opens its 2010 World Cup competition against England in Rustenburg on June 12, the first World Cup game between the two nations since 1950 when the U.S. team pulled off one of soccer’s biggest upsets by beating the heavily England national team, 1-0, at the World Cup tournament in Brazil. Which means high ratings for ESPN and a lot of U.S. eyes watching the Nike-clad Americans play a team from England outfitted by Nike division Umbro.

Nike's 2010 World Cup roster also includes Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Serbia.

The adidas list of 2010 World Cup teams is Argentina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay,  Slovakia, Spain and host South Africa.

The other nations will be outfitted by Puma (Algeria, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire-Ivory Coast, Ghana, Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay); Brooks, a division of Russell, owned by Berkshire Hathaway (Chile); Joma (Honduras) and Pirma (North Korea).

Nike has officially unveiled its U.S. National team jerseys, which will pay homage to the squad that had the stunning win in 1950. And as will all of the World Cup jerseys from Nike, is the "most environmentally-friendly, technologically-advanced kit in our history," according to Nike.

To make the 2010 national team uniforms for its bevy of squads, Nike said its fabric suppliers bought discarded plastic bottles from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites, then melted them down to produce new yarn that was converted into fabric for the jerseys. According to Nike, each top is directly produced from up to eight plastic water bottles. The production of these jerseys "cuts energy costs by 30% compared to manufacturing virgin polyester." By using recycled polyester, Nike said it prevented nearly 13 million plastic bottles of polyester waste, from going into landfill sites.

In addition, the soccer uniforms have also been designed to enhance players’ performance by keeping them drier, cooler and more comfortable. The Nike Dri-FIT fabric is 13% lighter than previous Nike soccer uniforms and helps to "quickly evaporate moisture and keep players dry, while the innovative ventilation zones along each side of the jersey and below the waistband on the shorts significantly increases air penetration to keep players cool."

The U.S. home jersey will be available May 1 at Niketown stores, www.nike.com and soccer specialty stores nationwide.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup uniform competition:

ADIDAS (12)
Argentina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay,  Slovakia, Spain, and host South Africa.

NIKE (10)
U.S., Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Serbia and England, which is being outfitted by Nike division Umbro.

PUMA (7)
Algeria, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana,  Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay

BROOKS
Chile

JOMA
Honduras

PIRMA
Korea DPR

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