By Vicente Navarro, partner and vice president of business development at AC&M Group
The FIFA World Cup, as you probably already know, is the ultimate sports competition in the world, showcasing premier level soccer stars playing with their national teams. This tournament takes place every four years, but what you might not know is that there’s another battle that happens behind the scenes: it’s a competition between brands to outfit and sponsor each national team.
The brands which fight in this competition spend large amounts of money to be competitive, in preparation for the 2014 World Cup FIFA generated 404 million dollars from marketing rights. With revenue being so high for the World Cup brands such as adidas do not hesitate to invest large amounts of money to have their brand represented.
Below is a snapshot of every competing teams brand sponsor for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
adidas currently has the upper hand for the 2018 World Cup sponsoring a total of 12 teams as well as the official tournament ball, Telestar 18. While adidas remains a top brand for the World Cup, they have also been on a winning streak, sponsoring teams that have recently won the Champions League, Europa league, and the 2014 World Cup.
Nike does not fall short of adidas having more shoe contracts with top world-class players. Nike also retains its strong presence within the soccer world with 10 teams sporting their logo in the 2018 World Cup. Among those teams there are renowned soccer powerhouses such as Brazil, who have won the World Cup five different times. To accompany their sponsored teams, Nike also has individual sponsored players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.
While adidas and Nike continue to dominate the World Cup stage, Puma seems to be on the other end of the spectrum, with only four of their teams making it to the big stage. This is a drastic change in comparison to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where Puma had 8 teams participate.
We will also see a newcomer to the World Cup stage this year. For the first time New Balance will outfit not only one but two World Cup teams, with both Costa Rica and Panama making it in from the CONCACAF region. Through currently sponsoring big-name club teams such as Liverpool FC, Celtic FC and the World Cup team Panama this is set to be a huge summer for the New Balance Soccer brand.
Brands compete to outfit the many teams in hopes of gaining higher sales in terms of replica jerseys and branded merchandise. Through this competition, brands bid to be with teams with the largest fan bases and therefore create a higher demand for their products.
Historically, the U.S. and Mexico have led sales of replica sales in the U.S. Our partner SOCCER.COM will focus on bringing official licensed products for Russia 2018, including a big investment by bringing the largest selection of items for Mexican fans and also focusing in countries like Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.
As you prepare to watch the World Cup this year in Russia, make sure to also check out the interesting competition happening between the brands. With the worldwide tournament getting closer, you can keep up with the latest news through our World Cup report and blog .