Adidas Spends ‘Double-Digit Millions’ on World Cup Advertising

Adidas plans to engage American sports fans through social media buzz created by its NBA player sponsors, who the company is sending to the World Cup.


Adidas will spend a record-breaking amount on World Cup advertising this year as nearly half of the world’s population tunes in to watch the 2014 tournament. The company would not disclose exact numbers, but it told CNN it plans to spend a “double-digit million amount” on World Cup advertising this year.

The success of Adidas’ 2014 World Cup campaign is crucial if the company is to reach its goal of raising $2.7 billion in revenues from the company’s soccer division, which would put it ahead of Nike. Nike saw $1.9 billion in its soccer category last year.

Along with major multinationals such as Budweiser, Coke and Visa, Adidas is one of six World Cup partners. The company has sponsored the tournament since 1970 and recently extended its FIFA partnership for another 60 years.

In addition to a partnership with ESPN, which will be saturated with Adidas ads, this year’s initiatives will be heavy on digital for the U.S. market. The company plans to engage American sports fans through social media buzz created by its NBA player sponsors, who Adidas is sending to the World Cup. The company is betting on a record-breaking performance by Messi and promoting him heavily once the tournament ends.

Adidas also partnered with Kanye West on a new song called “God Level.” Produced by West, Hudson Mohawke, 88-Keys, Mike Dean and Noah Goldstein, the song is featured in Adidas’ 2014 FIFA World Cup commercial called “The Dream” (embed above).

With $16.3 billion in revenue, Adidas is second only to Nike as the world’s largest sports apparel company (Nike saw $25.3 billion in annual revenue last year).

While Nike has made incredible gains since its 1994 entrance into the soccer business and is backing major players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Adidas’ ties to the World Cup started in Berlin in 1954. The company has named an “icon line” of shoes after Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. It also makes the official World Cup match balls and is sponsoring four teams with a chance to win this year: Spain, Germany, Argentina and Colombia.

Adidas also controls 60 percent of the growing youth soccer market in the U.S., which the company expects to grow by double digits in soccer accessories alone after the tournament. And Adidas’ North American market is still bigger than its European counterpart. The company is the lead sponsor of Major League Soccer in the U.S. and Canada.

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