Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(FILE - In this April 17, 2014 file photo, Utah Jazz's Gordon Hayward speaks to the media in Salt Lake City. A person close to the situation says restricted free agent Hayward has agreed to a maximum offer sheet with the Charlotte Hornets that would pay the small forward $63 million over the next four years. The Jazz would have three days to match the deal once Hayward officially signs the offer sheet. The person commented to The Associated Press) on condition of anonymity Wednesday, July 9, 2014, because Hayward can't officially sign the offer sheet until Thursday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
The World Cup’s big winner? Merchandise
First Published Jul 13 2014 09:44 am • Last Updated Jul 13 2014 09:44 am

Portland, Ore. • Wondering how to drive it like Dempsey, move it like Messi or rip it like Ronaldo?

There’s an app for that.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

As Argentina and Germany prepare for Sunday’s World Cup final, companies that produce soccer-related merchandise are already winning.

The once-every-four-years consumer frenzy, dubbed by some as the "World Cup Effect," drives the sale of everything from the traditional jerseys and cleats to unusual items such as team-endorsed windshield wiper fluid to Versace T-shirts and, yes, mobile phone apps.

The stakes are highest for sports shoe and apparel giants Nike and adidas, who are wrestling for dominance of the soccer market.

Nike reported late last month that global soccer-related revenue rose 21 percent to an all-time high of $2.3 billion for the 2014 fiscal year leading up to the World Cup.

Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike outfitted the surprising U.S. national team and sponsors such stars as Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Neymar of Brazil. The company already released innovative sock-like cleats for the World Cup, and hopes to take advantage of the global focus on the Beautiful Game with the release of the Nike Soccer App.

The application, launched this week, seeks to bring young soccer enthusiasts together at the grassroots social-media level, facilitating pick-up games and pointing wannabe stars toward training tools and even Nike Academy trials. And, of course, the app easily links to merchandise.

"It’s really hyper-focused on the 17- to 19-year-old who lives and breathes the sport. We wanted to really create a service that could help connect them closer to the things they love most about football — and that starts with the game," said Jesse Stollak, Nike’s vice president of global digital brand.

Adidas has traditionally led the soccer sector, and expects to emerge from the World Cup with global sales topping a record $2.7 billion when the final numbers are tallied.


story continues below
story continues below

The German company enjoys the spotlight as an official sponsor of the World Cup. It designed the "Brazuca" ball that players are using in Brazil. And it has an advantage in that both teams in the final — Germany and Argentina — are adidas-outfitted. Argentina star Lionel Messi is part of the adidas fold.

Like Nike, adidas has also pushed beyond shoes and jerseys to capitalize on World Cup mania with its miCoach Smart Ball.

The soccer ball, which meets FIFA specifications, has embedded sensors that show players velocity, angle, spin and a host of other information — including what part of the foot is striking the ball — via, you guessed it, an app. The application, which even emits cheers for good shots, also provides feedback.

"What we wanted to do was look at soccer, which is the heritage of our brand, and look for that perfect intersection of electronics and sport that not just measures metrics of what someone did, but actually provided coaching feedback to help anyone who wants to improve at the game," said Christian DiBenedetto, senior innovation director for adidas.

Here are some other products getting a "bounce" from the World Cup Effect:

GAME CRAZY: Even though it was released last November, Electronic Arts’ FIFA 2014 is still on Amazon’s best-seller lists, as is EA’s 2014 World Cup Brazil game. The FIFA series produces an estimated $1 billion in revenue globally for the Redwood City, California-based game maker, and FIFA 2015 is coming in September.

EA Sports also deserves kudos for creative advertising: A commercial for the World Cup game featured Landon Donovan — left off the U.S. national team— at home in a robe and playing the game as himself.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE: Gatorade developed a "sports fuel system" for the Brazilian national team during the World Cup. The special bottles, created in partnership with Smart Design, contain beverages designed for each player and monitor how much players have consumed via (what else?) an app monitored by coaches. While the system isn’t available at the local sporting goods store, don’t be surprised if some American football teams start using the technology.

GOING UPSCALE: World Cup merchandise can be couture, too. Donatella Versace created the "Versace Loves Brazil" T-shirt, featuring a multicolored baroque print that includes images of soccer balls and silhouetted players, along with gold chains, flowers and leopard print. If that wasn’t enough, it features the designer’s trademark Medusa head. For just $690.

AND FINALLY: There are quite a few companies trying to capitalize on Luis Suarez, and more specifically, his jaws. If you haven’t gotten enough of apps, there’s the Luis Suarez Soccer Bite App game. Players control an animated Suarez, who goes from player to player and — probably no further explanation is necessary. There’s also a Luis Suarez bottle opener. Further explanation probably isn’t needed for that one, either.

———

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.