Adidas can authoritatively to be the winner over arch rival Nike in the upcoming Russia 2018 World Cup even before the first match kicks off as it is kitting out the most teams.
The German outfit will provide jerseys for 12 of the 32 nations in Russia, with Nike boasting 10 and Puma four – but Nike says 60 percent of players will wear its boots.
Mirror Sport reports that host country Russia, holders Germany, Belgium, Iran and Argentina are among the countries who will wear the kits made by Adidas.
However, the German sportswear brand, which is also the official sponsor of the tournament, expects only a limited financial impact, partly because this year’s World Cup takes place in Russia, where the economy is in the doldrums.
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 soccer, capitalising on booming demand for its retro basketball sneakers and springy Boost running shoes to outpace Nike, particularly in the U.S. market.
After Nike kitted out more teams for the first time in Brazil in 2014, Adidas has fought back, this year 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 soccer when the World Cup was played in the United States 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.
While team deals are important for sales of soccer jerseys, more critical for sales of boots is the sponsorship of top players, particularly the likes of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who wears Nike, and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, in Adidas.
Nike expects 60 percent of all the players heading to Russia will be wearing its boots, including almost half the German and Spanish team and three-quarters of the Russians, even though they will be wearing Adidas shirts.