With only six more months until the World Cup in Brazil, a new chapter in the rivalry between Nike and Adidas has already begun. Adidas is the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup while Nike sponsors the host country.
Nike currently owns 14.6 percent of the global sporting goods market to Adidas’ 11.4 percent, and it’s quickly approaching the lead Adidas has in Western Europe. Adidas held 13.2 percent of the western Europe sporting goods market in 2012 to Nike’s 12.4 percent, according to Euromonitor data.
However, Adidas is ready to make its presence felt during the World Cup with players like Lionel Messi and Mesut Özil, who play for Adidas-sponsored national teams Argentina and Germany. Additionally, the recent launch of the official match ball, the “Brazuca” – on sale for $160 but free to Brazilians born on its launch day of December 15th.
Victoria Bryan from Reuters adds that big name endorsements are also responsible for Nike’s broader success. “Retailers say the U.S. brand has gained market share this year thanks to well designed, comfortable products such as the top-selling Nike Free sneaker – and getting its performance-enhancing shoes on the feet of the biggest sports stars.”
The biggest challenge in the battle of the brands, according to Bryan, is to win “the crown of cool” – something far more difficult than simply designing a new product. When looking at the brand’s interaction with social media, Nike seems to be stealing the show because of their early adoption of new technologies.
Moreover, Nike has almost 2.5 million Twitter followers to just over 570,000 for Adidas. Nike also has a higher Facebook engagement rate, proving that its fans have a better interaction with the different platforms.