Battle of the Giants in Soccer

Since soccer is not the most popular and played sport in America, we sometimes fail to realize that it is the most played sport in the world. In the World Cup of 2010 alone, the cummulative audience exceeded 26 billion over the span of a month of international games according to By hearing number like these it is no surprise that advertisers jump to the chance to get their brand out in as many ways as possible. Advertising in soccer can be found everywhere: on the stadium walls, soccer ball, goal posts, teams uniforms, sidelines, players cleats, and the list can go on and on. In order for the brand to stick to the audience it must be carefully placed so that it doesn’t interrupt the viewer from watching the game but still gets the message across.

The most obvious examples of advertising during a soccer game can be found on the teams uniform. From the brand of the jersey to the brands that are strategically placed on the jerseys. According to Seth Stevenson, Nike stopped taking, “a half-hearted approach to the sport” and gave its full attention to the World Cup 2002 teams in order to bridge the gap between them and Adidas. Adidas had been the leader in this area for a while and it wasn’t until the final of the 2002 World Cup when Brazil faced off against Germany that Nike began to use its ads to slam Adidas. Brazil, which wore a Nike uniform, defeated Germany, a well known Adidas user, 2-0. Nike followed by launching an advertising soccer campaign entitles “Joga Bonito” which translates to “Play beautiful”. This emphasized that the Brazilians who wore Nike during the game played beautiful soccer and while the Germans who used Adidas played a more boring and strategic style of soccer.

Two of the biggest names in the world of sports are Nike and Adidas so it is no surprise that they go to extreme amounts to beat out the other. In soccer, teams are classified into brand groups. People can already expect teams such as Brazil, Holland, USA, Korea, Portugal and Australia to be wearing Nike uniforms while other teams such Argentina, France, Spain,  Japan, and the newly acquired Mexico to be in Adidas. This war between goes even further when some of the most famous soccer players begin to be labeled as Team Nike and Team Adidas.

In my opinion this war between Nike and Adidas in the soccer world is very healthy and is a benefit to consumers. While they go at eachother and constantly compete, that only means that quality products can be expected from both parties since one doesn’t want to fall off from the other. By wearing the jersey of their favorite team, the consumers are forced to represent whatever side their team is wearing whether it be Nike or Adidas. I can speak from personal experience that I have always preferred the Nike brand. I am so loyal to the brand that I have refused to by the Mexican national team jersey because they are sponsored by Adidas. Some of my favorite players wear Adidas shoes but that doesn’t mean that I am the first in line to go get the shoes as soon as they come out. I believe that it is important to know to what extent advertisers go to get their brand across to consumers. Its a little odd that even though I do know the strategies used by the companies to get their brand image out, I still have brand loyalty.


Krashinsky, Susan (2010). Battle of the soccer brands: Adidas vs Nike. Football Marketing. Retrieved from

Falk, Pamela (2010). 26 Billion People Watching the World Cup:True?. CBS News. Retrieved from:

Stevenson, Seth (2006). Keep Soccer Beautiful. Slate. Retrieved from:

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