The Real World Cup Final Is Not France And Croatia
- Jul 21, 2018 -

The World Cup is not only a battle for players in the arena, but also a battle for all merchants. Although Nike and Adidas are silent on the advertising expenses of this World Cup, analysts said that in 2014 Adidas spent nearly 100 million US dollars to sponsor. At that time, the German team beat Argentina 1-0 in overtime. Adidas sales increased significantly, selling equipment worth 2 billion euros. Nike also said in the report that marketing costs surged by 36% in the year, a large part of which came from the World Cup.


Adidas has been an official sponsor and partner of FIFA since 1970, and most of its funds are used for stadiums, referee equipment, and placement around stadiums. And Nike likes to sponsor individual stars, such as sponsoring players and teams, from head to toe.

This year's World Cup Adidas made a strong counterattack. They sponsored 12 of the 32 teams, including the defending champion Germany, which spent $56.7 million, Spain and the host Russia, and Nike sponsored 10 teams. However, the German team's upset group stage was out, which was a huge blow to Adi. The company's stock price fell 2.7% on the next trading day in Germany. And Adidas unfortunately saw that its last team, Belgium, was also eliminated.

Nike is sponsoring the French team for about $56 million, sponsoring the England team for about $40 million, and the Croatian team. As the two teams enter the semi-finals, Nike’s gambling has been won, as is the sporting event, the World Cup’s marketing. You can never predict the outcome.

Macquarie retail analysts said that the brand's main goal is popularity and sponsorship, and having a team in the knockout, semi-final or final will undoubtedly drive any brand. Imagine if you like a team to win the World Cup, then of course you will want to have such a jersey, the second wave of sales around the semi-finals and finals, and then the third wave of sales after the final.

The previously unlikely competitor, England, continued to make progress in the tournament, making Nike's sales soar, and even facing a shortage of jerseys before the semi-finals. Nike's vice president of Western Europe said that due to the good performance of our team, the sales rate of jerseys is very high.

Adidas is the world's largest football brand, accounting for about 29% of the global market share. Nike's market share in the United States is close to and dominates. After the 1994 World Cup, the brand increased its efforts to win a piece of cake, that is, the United States.

Regardless of who sponsors the team, each football player has his own preferences, what kind of shoes they wear, and it is estimated that 65% of the players in this year's World Cup wear Nike shoes. Of the total of 150 goals scored before the finals, 94 were wearing Nike shoes. Analysts said that it would always be very helpful for the winning team to be equipped with their own branded equipment.

"Golden Boots" contenders Harry Kane of England, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Edison Cavani of Uruguay all wear Nike shoes. Adidas was favored by Argentine players Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, but in the first round of the knockout stage, Argentina lost to France 4-3.

Nike sponsors 15 of the world's top 25 All-Star players, and the number of goals they score is important. Children and teenagers want to wear the same World Cup equipment as the World Cup finals or superstars.


Even if it costs millions of dollars for advertising, social media is still king in 2018, and US analysts say that regardless of the brand, top star Instagram, Facebook and Twitter fans may end up being the most important sales drivers this year. People will continue to pay attention to their idols, no matter what the World Cup, because there will always be another season, the star power can go far beyond the game.

Nielsen's World Football Report found that stars like Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi, who have hundreds of millions of fans on social media, can be a more powerful advertising tool than traditional TV and graphics.

With more than 322.8 million fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Ronaldo is one of the world's most sought-after celebrities, far more than the most popular Hollywood celebrity singer Selena Gomez. According to Nielsen, his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have generated about 570 million comments and forwards.

Instinet analysts say individuals are more powerful than the platforms they give. Their personal image may even be more popular than their sponsors. The goal of the spokesperson is not simply to sell the product, but to create “aura effects and provide credibility to the brand”.

Analysts said that although Adidas is the official sponsor of the World Cup, Nike sponsored two teams in the finals and some of the best players in the world in this game. In the marketing game, Nike competes for the players rather than the team's strategy. It seems obvious that there is no need to care anymore, so the real World Cup final is not France against Croatia, but Nike and Adidas.