Adidas’ World Cup marketing drive to net record £1.6bn football revenues

Adidas expects to hit its €2bn (£1.6bn) sales target for football products this year as its content-focused World Cup campaign fires up demand.


Adidas has hailed its World Cup marketing for driving demand for football shirts, shoes and balls this year.

The sportswear business said it is “definitely” on track to net the additional revenue in 2014 after assessing data in the run up to and after the first 12 days of the tournament. Adidas has been gradually building demand for its shirts, boots and balls since last November to try and ease the pressure on the tournament trading period.

More than 8 million shirts of the nine national sides it is sponsoring are expected to sell this year, a significant increase on the 6.5 million for the 2010 World Cup. The German jersey is leading the way with record sales of more than 2 million, more than half a million of those are sold outside of Europe.

Further bestsellers are the Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Colombia jerseys, with sales of one million units or more each. Additionally, Adidas expects to shift more than 14 million Brazucas - the official match ball of the tournament.

The company also hailed the “sustained” impact the tournament had on sales in Latin America, a region the brand has been trying to position as a primary growth engine. Sales in the area have jumped from €179m (£143m) to €1.575bn (£1.262bn) over the last ten years, the company said.

Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas, said the early results underline the company’s “outstanding position as the clear number one” in football globally. The success of “our marketing campaign in social media worldwide is clear proof that Adidas is and will remain the leading football brand”, he added.              

The company has adopted an unusual tactic to fostering loyalty among fans by encouraging them to opt out of CRM initiatives and Twitter updates if they can’t demonstrate they “understand Adidas’s philosophy and approach to football”. It forms a key part of the brand’s biggest marketing campaign, spanning YouTube and Twitter tie-ups alongside a more coordinated ecommerce push.

Nike is expected to give its own update on football sales around the World Cup when it publishers it fourth quarter earnings on Thursday (26 June).

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