Insider: World Cup Face-off… Adidas Gets Mega…

Soccer Showdown
When the Netherlands and Spain faced off in yesterday’s heavily anticipated (and heavily watched) World Cup final match, it wasn’t just the two European nations who were battling on the pitch. Nike, sponsor of the Dutch team, and Adidas, sponsor of both the Spanish team and the German team Spain defeated for the bid, were competing, too. So would a win for their team mean a win for the brand at retail? Or even just in bragging rights? “For the record, Nike has already won by connecting with millions of consumers globally,” was the response from a Swoosh spokesman. “Momentum is on our side — 19 million views of the three-minute ‘Write the Future’ [ad] on Youtube.com, [with] 53 million views on Youtube and other platforms.” But an Adidas rep had a different take. “Adidas will sell close to 1 million Spanish jerseys and [more than] 4 million pairs of the F50 [soccer boot],” she said, closing with her own killer stat: “And the F50 Adizero is the top-scoring boot of the World Cup to date.”

Plugged In
World Cup aside, Adidas is out to give consumers what they want — in a big way. The company is launching a Mega collection for fall that features modern fashion athletic styles with classic Adidas technology (such as Torsion and Softcell) highlighted in an oversized format. “There is a consumer out there who is looking for technology that is not about higher, faster and stronger, but about how it is integrated into his or her life, with things like durability and cushioning,” said Noah Bernard, global category manager for Originals footwear and Mega. The collection, priced between $80 and $100, is slated to launch in the U.S. for fall, followed by a global launch in spring ’11. In addition to Adidas Originals stores, the collection will be sold at Finish Line, as well as at select independent accounts.

Share & Share Alike
New York residents may have a new option for their discarded kicks this fall: the Associated Press has reported that the Big Apple is taking bids for a pilot program that will place bins throughout the city for residents to drop off their used (or even highly used) apparel and footwear. Got shoes that are too worn to even think of giving to another person? No problem: Objects turned in that can’t be donated for reuse will be mined for scraps, turned into insulation or other second-chance items. And for New Yorkers in a hurry to clear their closets, Soles4Souls is hosting a shoe drive on July 13 at Grand Central Station in Manhattan, where “Dancing With the Stars” pro Cheryl Burke — in cooperation with Kiwi Shoe Care — will collect donations.

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