Monday, June 05, 2006

Soccer Kit Sponsorship

adidas have sponsored six national teams in the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 . These are Argentina , France , Germany , Japan , Spain ,
Trinidad and Tobago . The company have sponsored other national squads including Greece, Nigeria and China but they failed to qualify. Nike meantime sponsor eight teams. These are Australia , Brazil , Croatia , Netherlands , South Korea , Mexico , Portugal and the United States . Their design policy has been to incorporate unique designs for each uniform, such as numbers, colors, collars and detailing, all inspired by each country's soccer heritage. By individualizing national kits, Nike appear to be challenging the dominance of the three stripes of adidas and the red cat of rivals Puma . Nike held simultaneous events in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Amsterdam and Lisbon to present national team uniforms to the fans and media at the same time as they revealed their wares in Germany. Puma AG will sponsor 12 national squads and the red cat logo will be worn by Angola , Czech Republic , Ghana , Iran , Italy , Ivory Coast , Paraguay, Poland , Saudi Arabia , Switzerland , Togo and Tunisia. There are rumours Nike may respond to Adidas's acquisition of Reebok by buying Puma. Puma was created in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler, estranged brother of Adi Dassler. The two companies still have their headquarters in the tiny Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach but remain intense rivals. Other sponsors od national teams are Lotto (Ukraine and Serbia and Montenegro ) , Joma (Costa Rica ), Umbro (England and Sweden ), and Marathon (Ecuador ).

Puma pioneered signing soccer stars and in a Seventies World Cup final, Pele (Brazil) stopped kick-off to bend down and tie his shoelaces with cameras to the ready the world saw Pele in Puma boots. Currently adidas have 300 players under contract and wear the three-stripe boots even even when their national associations are partners of competitors. For instance, England's David Beckham will wear adidas shoes and a jersey by Umbro. However the same courtesy has not been extended to host nation Germany where they will be dressed head to toe in adidas kit. The squad have been warned if they do not comply then they will be dropped. Such dictatorial behaviour has already caused friction with players who have existing contracts and signature boots to promote. No problem with Ronaldinho who will wear Nike kit and Nike boots, and Francesco Totti shall have Puma AG gear for competition. No company publically declares how much they pay top players on the pitch but analysts estimate that Nike's contract with Brazil as well as deals with large football associations such as Germany are worth a double-digit millions amount annually.

A cautionary note has been hit by investment experts who warn whilst an increase in sales has been recorded due to the World Cup, predictions may be overestimated. Whilst the month-long competition will lift spending in Germany the boom may be short lived and the evidence from previous World Cups shows potential beneficiaries may see their stocks drop. Adidas-Salomon AG, dropped 4.6 percent in the last championship and 12 percent four years earlier.


Let the games begin......

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