Adidas extends World Cup sponsorship in $350m deal

LONDON - Adidas has renewed its agreement to be the sponsor of the Fifa World Cup, covering the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, in a deal worth $350m (£186m), building on the 35-year relationship between the two.

The deal will see Adidas given premium stadium rights and supply the balls for the tournaments, as well as giving it rights for joint marketing programmes, internet cooperation and priority access to television advertising.

The deal covers all the other major Fifa tournaments during the period, including the Fifa Women's World Cup and World Youth Championship. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but reports say that Fifa will receive $215m in cash over the next four years, with the rest coming in licensing fees.

Fifa has said that it was also looking to extend its deal with Coca-Cola for the same period, in a deal worth around $250m.

Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas-Salomon, said: "In football you say: never change a winning team. Over the last 35 years, Adidas and Fifa have proven to be a winning team. We share a history and we share a passion: the passion for football."

Research published last summer said that Adidas, once the leading football brand in Europe, was losing ground to Nike. According to NPD Group research, Nike has now a 34% share of the football-related footwear market compared with Adidas, which has 30.2%.

Adidas uses major football stars including David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane in its marketing, as well as being the official sponsor of Manchester United and Arsenal. Nike has been building up its presence with its own set of footballing heroes, including Thierry Henry, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

South Africa is hosting the 2010 World Cup, while the 2006 tournament will be held in Germany.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.