Adidas Sees World Cup Boosting Soccer Sales to $2.7 Billion

Adidas AG, the world’s second-largest sporting-goods maker, said soccer sales will rise to a record 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) next year, boosted by the World Cup in Brazil.

“We will once again underline our leading position,” Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer said today at a press conference about the event in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Adidas, the global leader in soccer, said today it will start introducing new products for the World Cup in the second half of this year. The company is one of six global marketing partners for the tournament, which kicks off in Sao Paolo on June 12, 2014. Others include Coca-Cola Co. and Sony Corp.

Adidas had soccer sales of more than 1.7 billion euros last year, helped by interest surrounding the European championships held in Ukraine and Poland. Revenue from the category this year will reach last year’s level, Markus Baumann, senior vice president Adidas Football said today. The company has been pushing product categories including running and fitness this year because of the lack of a major soccer event.

Adidas faces competition from Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike Inc., whose soccer sales rose to $2 billion in 2012 from $1.8 billion in 2011. Nike sponsors the national team of Brazil, where Adidas would like to become leader “sooner rather than later,” Hainer told journalists today.

Cup Final

Adidas “is closing the gap” with competitors in the country and the World Cup will help “reduce the gap further,” the CEO said. The company will continue to have double-digit growth in Latin America, he said.

Brazil is hosting the World Cup for the second time since the tournament was established in 1930. The country last welcomed the global soccer event in 1950. The final will be played on July 13 at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Adidas has supplied the official match ball to all World Cup matches since 1970. It sold 13 million official match balls at the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and expects to beat that number next year, Baumann said today.

Adidas, the sponsor of teams including Germany, Spain and Argentina, estimates it owns 37 percent of the global soccer market, whose wholesale value is worth 5.4 billion euros.

The World Cup in Brazil will be “the biggest ever seen,” Hainer said today.

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