While it is not an official World Cup sponsor, Nike is on a mission to generate as much buzz as possible at the World Cup, which is expected to break records in terms of viewership.
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For the full fiscal year, which ended May 1, Nike reported doubledigit sales growth in its largest product lines, including running, basketball and womens training.
Adidas sponsors several teams and has marketing deals with many of the most wellknown players in the world, including the Argentinian starLionel Messi. But team Adidas may soon be down one man.
Nike, which started out running shoes, is a relative newcomer when it comes to selling soccer gear.
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Shares ofAdidasADDDF, which trade in Frankfurt and also have a small listing in the U.S., are down since the World Cup started on June 12, though they were bouncing back Friday. Nike shares are up more than over the same period of time.
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Revenue from Nikes soccer business rose 1 in the companys fiscal year to 2. billion.
Our football business has never been stronger, Nike brand president Trevor Edwards told analysts in a conference call.
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NikeNKEshares were up nearly 2 in latemorning trading Friday after the sports apparel companys latest financial results blew past expectations.
Adidas has set a goal of generating 2 billion euros, or about 2. billion, in sales from its soccer business this year. The company will report results for the first half of 2014 in August.
Nike sponsors the U.S. mens soccer team, which lost Thursday against Germany, but still scored enough points to advance to the next round of the tournament.
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The worlds leading athletic footwear brand said late Thursday that total revenue was up 11 in the fourth quarter to .4 billion.
With Nike on offense, it seems that Germanys Adidas is playing defense, at least in the stock market.
But the companys stest growing ision was football, a.k.a. soccer.
On that front, it looks like Nike just scored a goal.
Elsewhere in the sneaker world, shares of athletic shoe retailerFinish LineFINLwere up nearly on strong earnings. And the companys top competitor,Foot LockerFL, gained ground Friday too.
The company is reconsidering its sponsorshipUruguayan soccer striker Luis Suarezafter he bit an Italian player during a game earlier this week. FIFA suspended Suarez suspended him for four months from any football activity, which means he will miss the rest of the World Cup. Uruguay plays Colombia on Saturday.
Our comprehensive offense on the pitch and in the marketplace drives our leadership as the worlds best football brand, said Edwards.
The Oregonbased company currently sponsors the most teams at the tournament. And there are more players in Brazil wearing Nike boots than all other brands combined, according to Edwards.
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Unlike Nike, Adidas sponsors the World Cup at the highest level. It has been an official sponsor of FIFA, which governs global soccer, for decades.