Nike vs. Adidas: Sponsors gear up for Women’s World Cup final

By Catherine Masters, Amy Tennery, Helen Reid

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – There will be more than sporting pride on the pitch when England and Spain face off in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday. The winning team’s sponsors, Nike or Adidas, also have the potential to generate millions of dollars in additional sales.

Sports sponsorships are a major revenue driver for apparel manufacturers. In 2019, Nike’s number one jersey for the World Cup-winning United States Women’s National Team became the best-selling soccer jersey of the season for both men and women on the company’s website, executives told investors.

Nike said overall revenue increased 10% in the first quarter after the tournament, including double-digit growth in the company’s women’s division as “great summer results celebrating female athletes.”

Apparel revenue for the 2019 Women’s World Cup was four times higher than the 2015 event, executives said.

England and Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-final (Photo: REUTERS/Carl Recine)

Longtime rivals England sponsor Nike and Spanish sponsor Adidas now want to build on that track record.

“The real exposure and feedback starts after the game,” said Liz Papasakeariu, head of North American consumer products at Publicis Sapient, a consulting group.

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Nike and Adidas made up the bulk of the jerseys used in this year’s women’s tournament, with 23 of the 32 jerseys provided by both companies. Nike sponsored 13 teams and Adidas sponsored 10.

Unpredictable tournaments, with strong teams dropping out early, have dragged down demand for the products of the two sportswear giants.

Nike missed out on huge earnings potential after the US team, which it has sponsored since 1995, suffered an early exit from the tournament.

But a deal with European champions England proved lucrative as Liones seek a first title in the final against Spain.

“Demand for the Lioness’ Nike jerseys is incredibly strong, and given their incredible win to reach the finals, we expect fans to show their support by wearing team colors,” Nike said.

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Adidas said it expected “continuous demand” for T-shirts from Spain and was restocking inventory at its retail partners and in its own stores. A replica shirt costs €90, while the real shirt costs €140.

The tournament, which saw Australia reach the semi-finals after losing to England on Wednesday, has generated “unprecedented demand” for the team’s shirts, with sales in Australia so far 13 times higher than in the same period, Nike said. . State of the 2019 tournament.

(Additional reporting by Fernando Kallas and Ian Ransom)

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