Euro Cup Pays Off for Athletic Firms

Euro Cup Pays Off for Athletic
Adidas' Predator soccer boot

Spain’s record-setting victory on Sunday — the World Cup champs defeated Italy 4-0 to become the first team in UEFA history to win back-to-back championships — also should be a win for team sponsor Adidas.

“When a team wins, there’s positive correlation of sales,” said SVP of global football Markus Baumann. “When Spain won the World Cup in 2010, jersey replicas and jersey sales went through the roof.”

But it won’t be just Adidas celebrating. Despite the defeat, a strong worldwide following for the Italian team is a plus factor for its sponsor, Puma, according to Filip Trulsson, the brand’s international team sport business unit manager. “Any major championship is a trigger for wearing the colors of and celebrating your national team, and Italy is a powerhouse in international football,” he said. “People don’t generally run around in town wearing track-and-field equipment, but there’s a long history of fans wearing football shirts.”

In addition to strong jersey sales, firms also expect shoe sales to increase, too.

“In event years, there are moments with jerseys that boost our sales, but footwear numbers go through the roof,” Baumann said. Citing increased participation from the youth level onward in the sport, Baumann said events such as the European championship lead to a rise in all football product.

“2012 will be the best year for us as a company for footwear sales,” he said. “And it’s not just event-related product — we manage to balance it out and transfer the hype into [more]-generic product as well. [Soccer] footwear sales will rise double digits globally.”

In June, Adidas launched the latest iteration of its Predator franchise for the Euro 2012, the Predator Lethal Zones boot, which features rubber and memory foam overlays for ball control. The 8-ounce boot is the first of Adidas’ Predator shoes to be compatible with the brand’s MiCoach training system.

For Puma, the hero footwear style at the game was the new EvoSpeed 1 FG boot, part of its lightweight Speed line. The new boot, which also debuted in June, is more flexible and lighter than past editions. It’s also part of a larger launch for the athletic company and will be the lead story for Puma footwear heading into the Olympics. New product is set to debut for motorsport, cricket, golf, handball and especially running, all inspired by Puma sprinter Usain Bolt.

“The approach we’ve taken is to merge the two [events] somewhat to celebrate both,” Trulsson said. “We’re a little bit of the underdog brand in terms of resources, so for sending a clear, concise message to consumers, it’s the best way to represent the brand.”