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Adidas is once again the winner of the technical sponsor "battle of the brands" at the FIFA World Cup 2018. The German giants are sponsoring 12 teams including strong contenders such as Germany, Spain and Argentina. In addition, Adidas is also an official tournament sponsors, celebrating 20 years as part of the FIFA partner family.
Nike is a close second with 10 teams being represented at the tournament. Brazil, France, England and Portugal are Nike's best bets to go deep in the tournament although they will also be activating strongly with their top ambassadors, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, 132 of the 200 most expensive football players are sponsored by Nike, according to a report published by the CIES Football Observatory.
Puma is a distant third in this group with only four national teams represented. They will be banking on a strong tournament by Uruguay given that Italy, their top property, did not qualify for the tournament.
The rest of the brands including New Balance, Umbro, Hummel, Errea and Unisport do not have strong contenders to advance to the later stages of the tournament and will have to rely on creative marketing initiatives to generate additional awareness. In cases such as New Balance, for example, they will partner with prominent YouTube stars to target the younger demographics and differentiate themselves from the top brands.
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