The real World Cup final isn’t France vs. Belgium, it’s Nike vs Adidas

The real World Cup final isn’t France vs. Belgium, it’s Nike vs Adidas

“We see this as a brand-building event,” Rorsted said. “The direct financing impact is limited.”

Adidas, which has been an official FIFA sponsor and partner since 1970, spends much of its money on ball branding, referee gear and placement around the stadium. Nike likes to bank on individual stars, sponsoring players and teams, outfitting them from head to toe.

Adidas had 12 official team sponsorships when the World Cup began back in June, including their home nation Germany that costs a whopping $56.7 million.

Nike also shelled out about $56 million on the French national team and about $40 million to sponsor the English team. Nike’s big bet panned out as both teams made it through to the semi-finals. As always with sports, you can never predict the outcome and Adidas unluckily saw its last team, Belgium, eliminated earlier this week.

Macquarie retail analyst Andreas Inderst says the main goal for a brand is visibility and sponsorship, having a team in a knockout round, semi-final or the final undoubtedly gives a boost to any brand.

“You see an immediate return with jerseys. If a certain team wins the World Cup then of course you want to buy the jersey,” he said. There is a second wave of sales around the semi-finals and finals, then a third wave after the final, he said.

Nike saw a spike in shirt sales in the U.K. after England, the unlikely contender, continued advancing through the tournament. The company even faced a shortage of jerseys ahead of the semi-finals. Nike’s vice president of Western Europe told Germany’s Handelsblatt: “Thanks to the good performance of our teams, the jerseys are selling phenomenally.”

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