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Adidas looking to World Cup to help sales

Adidas is hoping its sponsorship at the 2010 football World Cup and new products associated with the tournament will help slow sales in 2009 pick up next year.

According to website, the 60-year-old company is rolling out a mammoth marketing campaign for the tournament.

The 2006 World Cup in Germany gave Adidas a huge sales surge, selling over 15 million balls around the time of the tournament. The company, which has produced the match ball for every World Cup since 1970, says pre-sales of the 2010 ball have already exceeded that volume.

"It's been a tough economic year for many companies," said Antonio Zeas, Adidas director of soccer. "We want to focus on 2010. Revenues from the World Cup will deliver record numbers for us, as in 2006, and extend our leadership."

Rival apparel brands Adidas, Nike and Puma compete fiercely with their respective sponsorship of the teams and players involved in the tournament. In 2008 Nike paid a reported $64 million a year to acquire the sponsorship of the French national team from 2011 to 2018, four times what Adidas was paying for the same sponsorship on a previous contract.

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