Sulking French football players have not prevented Adidas from surpassing its earlier sales target for football products, which are now expected to reach more than €1.5 billion for the year, compared with an earlier forecast of over €1.3 billion. This was the record achieved by the company in 2008, when the European championships were held in Austria and Switzerland.
The preliminary performance of the Adidas football unit around the World Cup in South Africa was discussed at a media day organized by the company at its head office in Herzogenaurach earlier this week. Herbert Hainer, Adidas chief executive, said that it had sold over 6.5 million jerseys, more than doubling the score of 3 million jerseys achieved in 2006, when the last World Cup was held in Germany. The best-selling jerseys were Germany, Mexico, South Africa and Argentina, with about 1 million pieces each.
On the back of its encouraging performance so far, Germany surpassed all other Adidas teams in jersey sales. On the other hand, French retailers are likely to be saddled with unsold jerseys after the disgraceful display put on by Les Bleus in South Africa. Since the deal between Adidas and the French football federation is running out at the end of the year, due to a highly publicized knock-out bid by Nike, Adidas company had ordered jerseys conservatively. However, it still managed to sell about 300,000 French jerseys before the start of the competition, which might be hard for retailers to get rid of.
Most unusually, Adidas put out a statement on Monday, ahead of the French team’s last game, against South Africa, saying that it was “filled with consternation and sadness” with regards to the French team’s situation. Adidas appealed to the French team to play its game with dignity.
Furthermore, Adidas issued the latest independent figures on the football market, reaffirming its leadership over Nike as a brand. The German company referred to findings by NPD Sports Tracking Europe and Sportscan, indicating that Adidas held a global market share of 34 percent for cleated football boots, ahead of Nike with 31 percent. In the five largest European markets, the Adidas share amounted to 38 percent, while Nike’s share stood at 35 percent. And in some large markets such as Germany and the United States, the Three Stripes had more than half of the market.
Adidas further reported that it should sell a record number of football balls this year, to reach about 20 million units. It not only provides the ball for the World Cup but also for Uefa games, the African Cup of Nations and several national leagues. More than 13 million of the balls that Adidas expects to sell this year should feature the design of the much-criticized Jabulani ball used in the World Cup.