LONDON/BERLIN, March 10 (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.
HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (Reuters) – German sportswear company Adidas (ADSGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday warned that weakening emerging market currencies, notably the Russian ruble, would hurt 2014 results and pose a risk to its 2015 targets even as sales are helped by the soccer World Cup.
The world’s second biggest sportswear firm, which has been losing ground to market leader Nike (NKE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), makes about half of its sales in fast-growing emerging markets, where currencies have been sliding in recent months.
HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (Reuters) – Adidas (ADSGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has extended the contract of long-serving Chief Executive Herbert Hainer until 2017 but will work with him on a succession plan to ready the world’s second-biggest sportswear company for “generation change”.
Hainer has been CEO since March 2001, making him the longest serving boss among German blue-chip companies, prompting speculation over whether he might think about stepping down as he approaches his 60th birthday in July.