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Nike nabs early lead over Adidas in Women’s World Cup gear sales



Among the battles of the brands at the Women’s World Cup, no showdown likely means more dollar-wise than the one playing out between Adidas and Nike.

Each sees soccer as a key cog in its business, and the sport produced sales of $25 billion and $51 billion for the companies, respectively, over their most recent four quarters.

At the moment, Nike appears to be winning.

“Nike is selling out of World Cup merchandise faster and at a higher price point than Adidas,” Refinitiv director of consumer research Jharonne Martis said in an email. “The latter has been offering higher promotions for its World Cup merchandise. This suggests that Nike is better poised to gain higher profits from the Women’s World Cup.”

As of a week ago, just ahead of the tournament’s kickoff, Nike was enjoying a sellout rate on 11% of its World Cup merchandise, compared to 4% for Adidas, according to Martis’ research, which stems from a partnership between Centric Pricing, a collector of pricing and sales data, and London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), owner of Refinitiv as well as other financial services and information businesses.

Adidas is an official sponsor of the WWC, which is taking place in Australia and New Zealand. But both companies sell World Cup-related merchandise by virtue of their team sponsorships. Adidas sponsors 10 of the teams in the tournament, while Nike claims 13. (Puma is a distant third with two teams while a clutch of other brands sponsor one squad.) Teams generating the most sellouts are Adidas’ Argentina and Nike’s Brazil, England and France.

According to Martis, the research found 65% of national team merchandise on sale at Adidas with an average discount rate of 25% off list price, while Nike appears to be holding the line on prices better, with 16% of its team merchandise on sale with an average markdown of 4%.

However, discounting doesn’t tell the whole story—as any shopper knows, sometimes the list price is there just to make the actual price seem like a better deal. Such might be the case with Adidas, which the Centric-LSEG analysis says is starting with an $84 average price for shirts and jerseys—the bulk of merch sales—compared to Nike, which has an average list price of $78. The researchers tallied 846 “fan gear” items from Nike across the 17 teams it sponsors, and 354 products for the 17 “national teams” Adidas supports.

The Women’s World Cup merchandise trends seem to carry over from the men’s version of the quadrennial tournament last fall. In the first two weeks of the Qatar World Cup, Nike enjoyed a sellout rate of 23% compared to 11% for Adidas, according to a December analysis by Refinitiv done in conjunction with StyleSage. During that period Nike had a much higher average selling price than Adidas, $71 versus $46.

With both World Cups, each company sees making a big impression important both for immediate sales and long-term brand awareness. Nike CEO John Donahue told analysts at the end of June that the company saw double-digit growth in its global soccer business thanks in part to excitement about the Women’s World Cup. “Nike,” he said, “is proud to partner with more federations in the tournament than any other brand, and we’ve matched that energy with our most comprehensive women’s football collection ever.”

For his part, Adidas CEO Bjorn Gulden told analysts in early May that soccer remains a strong suit for the company. “We look very, very good for ’24 in football. Women’s football gained importance,” Gulden said. “I do think we have to own soccer around the world.”


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Marketing & Sponsorship

NLO Hits Jackpot, Set To Sign Multi-Million Naira Sponsorship Deal



The Nationwide League One (NLO) is set to sign its largest sponsorship deal worth millions of naira and also announce a partnership with two foreign service providers.

The four (4) year sponsorship agreement breaks records and represents a major step forward for the development of grassroots football in Nigeria.

NLO Chairman and former Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Agara, shared further information about the agreement with.

“We are pleased with the various brands that have shown interest in the NLO in recent months as we want the NLO to become a global phenomenon as the most successful grassroots football league in Africa, as called for by the President of the NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau

“One of our partners is a lottery company licensed by the Nigerian Lottery Commission; will be the LO title sponsor. We have signed a sponsorship agreement with a term of four years. And we will reveal them on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Twenty-four hours later, exactly on Friday, March 15, the NLO will present four of its possible partners.

“One of them is a service provider: a sports tracking platform based in Croatia with more than 25 million monthly active users worldwide. This is very good for our clubs. They have also directed the NLO to help them integrate other leagues in Nigeria.

“This is not about any monetary value, but about sharing the benefits of the development of our league and we have agreed to work with them.”

However, there is another IT company that has agreed to develop websites for all NLO clubs. They will also open social media channels for all clubs.

“They will train club officials to manage the websites and then market the website and social media so that clubs can generate funds to support their clubs.”

“The NLO sees this as a good avenue for club development and another source of income for NLO clubs.”

Agara further hinted: “Two more technical partners will join NLO as they will help facilitate talent discovery through the use of technology.

“The country’s third-tier national football league sees them as a development partner, and we have agreed to give them access to our data. The benefits for NLO are the revenue share from selling the data, we have a device that allows us to monitor what we see.”

In order to expand its reach to a wider audience and passionate fans of the league, NLO has in a separate development launched its two (2) channels on Blend TV.


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Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Manchester United national stadium plan backed



A vision for a new Manchester United ground that could double as a ‘Wembley of the North’ has been welcomed by council chiefs.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a co-owner of the club, has outlined his preference to replace Old Trafford with a ground that could be used as a national venue.

Trafford Council welcomed the proposal as part of its plans to regenerate the wider Trafford Wharf area.

But councillor Liz Patel said it would be up the club to fund a new stadium.

The club’s plans are a key element of Trafford Council’s Wharfside Development plans, which will go out to public consultation next week.

New stadium developments at Tottenham, Everton, and Manchester City have been highlighted by the council as good examples of how to regenerate an area and keep fans there for longer on match days.

Sir Jim told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that the 74,310-capacity Old Trafford had become “tired and in need of refurbishment”.

He said any plan to build a new stadium that could also be used as a national ground would require a “conversation” with the government about using taxpayer funds.

‘Great ambition’

Ms Patel, who is leading the council’s redevelopment plans, said a ‘Wembley of the North’ proposal “would be wonderful”.

“That is great ambition from Jim Ratcliffe and these plans match that in terms of the setting and the future of the area,” she said.

A new stadium built on adjacent land could cost around £2bn.

Ms Patel said the council would look for investment for the Wharfside plans, and “saw a role” for the council in “leading, guiding and securing” the funding.

“How United get together the finances for their own stadium refurbishment would be separate,” she said.

At a meeting of the council’s executive on Monday night, Ms Patel earned cross-party support for the regeneration plans, which could take up to 20 years realise.

She said Trafford Council had worked with Manchester United’s planning team to design improvements in the area for fans as part of the masterplan.

“We want to create a much more family-friendly space where people want to stay longer and have processional routes so it’s a lot safer for fans arriving on foot from tram stops or walking out from the city centre – as sometimes happens in European matches.”


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Marketing & Sponsorship

F1 Academy pens Tommy Hilfiger deal



The all-female F1 Academy series has agreed a partnership with global lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger.


  • Tommy Hilfiger will sponsor the entry of Spanish driver Nerea Martí
  • The brand will also design and provide all F1 Academy staff uniform


Tommy Hilfiger becomes the latest brand to support the upcoming season of F1 Academy, with Charlotte Tilbury and Puma already on board. There will be five designated partner liveries this season, in addition to each car supported by a Formula One team, which means there are two partnerships still to be announced.

This adds to Tommy Hilfiger’s existing partnership with the Mercedes Formula One team, first signed back in 2018, as well as its personal endorsement of Lewis Hamilton and, more recently, George Russell.


“Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most recognised global lifestyle brands, so it is a great honour to welcome them to F1 Academy as an official partner,” said Susie Wolff, managing director of F1 Academy.

“Tommy Hilfiger is fully invested in our mission to improve female representation in motorsport, and their global brand platform will appeal to those outside of the motorsport world and help us to reach new audiences.

“I would like to personally thank Tommy and his team for sharing our vision and supporting a talented young driver in Nerea Martí.”

Coming next:

The F1 Academy season gets underway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in support of Formula One’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from 7th to 9th March.


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