Adidas says will come out on top in World Cup kit fight

Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:25pm EDT
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By Emma Thomasson

HERZOGENAURACH Germany (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Adidas expects to keep its position as the world's biggest seller of soccer gear as strong World Cup performances by the star players it sponsors fires demand for its shirts, boots and balls.

Chief Executive Herbert Hainer said Adidas would reach its target of 2 billion euros ($2.72 billion) of soccer sales in 2014, keeping it ahead of rival Nike's estimated $2 billion in soccer turnover.

"We as a brand have by far scored the most goals," Hainer told a news conference, highlighting the World Cup performance of players wearing Adidas boots like Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands and Thomas Mueller of Germany.

Adidas, the world's second-biggest sportswear company, has been losing market share in western Europe, its home territory, to Nike, which is also challenging its dominance in soccer.

While Adidas has supplied the match ball for the World Cup since 1970 and has extended its sponsorship of the competition to 2030, Nike is for the first time kitting out more teams - 10 out of 32 finalists - including hosts and favourites Brazil.

Nike, the world's biggest sportswear company, has only been a serious player in soccer since the World Cup was held in the United States in 1994. But it believes it has already overtaken Adidas in boots, including in its home market Germany.