PORTLAND – The competition on the pitch has yet to start, but the fight over World Cup consumers is already intense – and no more so than between the athletic companies that are jockeying for their once-every-four-years shot at the ever-growing worldwide soccer market.
The players, their boots and kits will be on display for billions across the globe over a monthlong window starting next week. Nike wants to make sure fans notice the swoosh. Adidas? Those three stripes. For Puma it’s that leaping cat.
“It’s the World Cup. It’s do or die. Win or go home,” said Adidas merchandise manager Peter Hong, alluding to more than the on-field competition in Brazil.
Are you loyal to a certain brand of atheltic shoes?