Adidas and Nike Get Ready To Rumble

The Two Global Sportswear Giants Fight for the Right to Sponsor Brazil

Round one was won by Germany, now the battleground moves to South America for football boot makers Adidas and Nike. The prize at stake this time is the rights to bear their swoosh or stripes on the Brazilian national team’s kit. Only last week, we reported how Nike had lost over the image rights for Lionel Messi (Read the Story here). Now the focus returns on sponsoring national teams with the Brazilians at center stage.

The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) signed a deal last year with Nike extending the current deal until 2018 without even looking at any rival bids, but an Adidas approach may mean they force Nike to renegotiate and dip further into their pockets.

The Brazilian Beef

The CBF has been with Nike since they took over from Umbro in 1996, and Nike has made the Brazilian team its figurehead in its marketing campaigns since then. But reports from Brazilian magazine ‘Exame’ claim Adidas are willing to pay $40 million a year, three times the $12 million Nike pay which is causing the CBF to think again.

There could also be another headache for Nike as Puma is also said to be preparing a bid of it’s own (don’t get us started on the Adidas v Puma rivalry). The disagreement already looks to be having an impact on the major players sponsored by the two rivals, as Adidas Predator wearer and new golden boy Kaka and Nike Tiempo wearer Ronaldinho have been squabbling over who gets to wear the coveted number ten shirt recently.

The Replica Football Shirt Market
The global football shirt market sees annual sales of 6 billion dollars, with Adidas on 30%, Nike on 25% and Puma on 15%. Adidas currently sponsor teams such as France, Germany, and Argentina; Nike sponsor Brazil and Portugal and Puma hold World Champions Italy as well as Switzerland and a raft of African nations.

Our Verdict: Adidas is pulling a brave (or stupid?) move taking on Nike in money terms – we have seen in the German sponsorship row that Nike’s pockets run very deep, but this battle for Brazil is already getting hotter and more bitter and is great to watch! If Adidas manage to pull this out of the bag, the boys from Germany will be sambering in the streets of Herzogenaurach from now until the next World Cup!

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