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Adidas and Nike battle for soccer supremacy in World Cup year

By Keith Weir and Emma Thomasson LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) - With the soccer World Cup only three months away, Adidas and Nike are squaring up for a marketing battle to match the fierce on-field rivalry of nations like Brazil and Argentina. The sportswear giants dominate a soccer kit industry worth more than $5 billion annually. They vie for the title of market leader in the supply of hi-tech boots and jerseys to fans inspired by Argentine Lionel Messi, who wears Adidas, or new Brazilian idol Neymar, who is in the Nike camp.

Adidas sees World Cup boost for profits, warns of Ukraine impact

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, said Wednesday it expects the World Cup football championships in Brazil to boost earnings this year, but warned that the crisis in Ukraine could hurt its business. "From an operational perspective, there is no doubt that 2014 will be a successful year for us," said chief executive Herbert Hainer, as the group set a profit target of between 830 million and 930 million euros (1.14 billion and 1.28 billion) for the year.

Adidas confident after meeting targets in 2013

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, said Wednesday it expects 2014 to be a successful year after it met all of its targets for 2013. "From an operational perspective, there is no doubt that 2014 will be a successful year for us," said chief executive Herbert Hainer. But he cautioned: "Currency headwinds had a significant negative impact on our results in euro terms, and this is also expected to continue in 2014."

Adidas pulls sexualized World Cup T-shirts at Brazil's request

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Adidas on Tuesday acceded to a request from Brazil's tourism board, which said the sporting goods maker should stop selling two T-shirts it marketed ahead of this year's World Cup because they encourage sexual tourism. One shirt shows a bikini-clad woman with open arms on a sunny Rio de Janeiro beach under the word-play "Looking to Score." The other has an "I love Brazil" heart resembling the upside-down buttocks of a woman wearing a thong bikini bottom.

Adidas to roll out new 'stadium' concept in retail drive

BERLIN (Reuters) - Adidas <ADSGn.DE> aims to replicate a sports stadium experience at flagship stores around the world, part of an effort by the German sportswear firm to make more direct sales, particularly in emerging markets. Adidas is the world's second largest sportswear maker behind Nike <NKE.N> and has been struggling as it loses market share to its leading competitor in Europe.

Adidas extends World Cup soccer sponsorship until 2030

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - 45German sportswear maker Adidas will remain the official partner and sponsor of the FIFA World Cup until 2030 as it defends its market leadership in soccer against U.S. rival Nike. Under a deal covering the four tournaments from 2018, Adidas will provide the match balls and the uniforms of volunteers who help fans find their way around. It will also sell licensed World Cup products and have its name on advertising at venues.

Football: Adidas extends partnership with FIFA World Cup until 2030

German sportswear giant Adidas said Thursday it will extend its long-standing sponsorship agreement with the FIFA World Cup tournament until 2030. "Today, FIFA and Adidas formally announced an extension of their long-term partnership agreement granting Adidas the official partner, supplier and licensee rights for the FIFA World Cup and all FIFA events until 2030)," the German company announced in a statement. Financial details were not disclosed and, when contacted by AFP, an Adidas spokesman declined to divulge the sum of money involved.

Adidas unveils its data-tracking smart soccer ball

On the heels of debuting its fitness-tracking soccer cleat, Adidas has unveiled a new miCoach Smart Ball, a soccer ball that can measure the speed, spin, and trajectory of each strike while feeding that data to an iOS device via Bluetooth in real-time. To celebrate the UEFA Champions League Final, the company offered fans a first look at the new ball, as well as other high-tech innovations, at the Adidas Lab at Victoria House in London this weekend.
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