Adidas can declare itself the winner over arch rival Nike in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup even before the first match kicks off on June 14.
This is because it is kitting out the more number of teams.
However, the German sportswear brand expects only a limited financial impact, partly because this year’s World Cup takes place in Russia, where the economy is in the doldrums.
Adidas is also the official sponsor of the tournament in Russia.
“The World Cup in Russia does carry lower financial opportunities than the similar event four years ago in Brazil,” Adidas Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted said earlier this month.
“At the same time, we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fantastic way of bringing our brand to life globally,” Rorsted added.
Since the last tournament in 2014, Adidas has grown sales rapidly in areas other than football.
It has capitalised on booming demand for its retro basketball sneakers and springy Boost running shoes to outpace Nike, particularly in the U.S. market.
Nevertheless, football remains important for the image of the German brand, which has supplied the World Cup match ball since 1970 and has a deal to sponsor the event until 2030.
It also announced last week it will extend its partnership with the UEFA Champions League until 2021.
After Nike kitted out more teams for the first time in Brazil in 2014, Adidas has fought back.
This year, it is sponsoring 12 of the 32 participating teams, including strong contenders like Germany and Spain, along with hosts Russia.
Nike, which only got heavily involved in football when the World Cup was played in the U.S. in 1994, is supplying shirts for 10 countries, including Brazil, France and England.
“The World Cup is such a powerful moment in sport, and we look forward to amplifying its energy,” Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker said in March.
The World Cup could add about three to four percentage points to Adidas group revenue growth in 2018.
Although it is lower than previous tournaments due to the fact it is happening in Russia, according to Piral Dadhania, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
However, Dadhania noted much of the benefit occurs before the event as the jerseys have already been sold to retailers.
“Any incremental boost during or after the event relating to jersey sales depends on the extent to which specific teams progress through the competition,” Dadhania said.(Reuters/NAN)