World Cup 2014: Team sponsors showdown


The FIFA world Cup is above all else about soccer, however it is also becoming more and more about is its various sponsors. Indeed from the headphones conflict between Sony/FIFA and Beats by Dre to sponsors weighing in on player’s behaviour, as more and more money is poured into such events brands are getting increased attention. Whilst the ways of getting attention become more diverse, this article will look at one the oldest and most basic forms of brand presence is ports events, team sponsors.

The 32 teams that made it to the final final tournament all wore kits from 8 different sponsors. Nike, Adidas and Puma sponsored 27 teams between them with 5 teams flying the logos of smaller lesser known brands. This article will look at which brand did well in their investment in terms of the the success of their teams, those who might not have done so well and how each brand’s representation varied throughout the competition.

Before the tournament started, and until the end of the group stage 32 teams were competing with Nike sponsoring the most as 10 teams had the smooth on their jersey. This account for 31% of teams at that point. Adidas followed with 9 teams (28%), and Puma with 8 (25%). Joma, BURRDA, Uhlsport, Marathon Sports and Lotto then all sponsor one team each.

group stage


Brands by country of origin

The first thing this shows is that despite Nike and Adidas being considered the two major brands for sports, Puma is still making a substantial investment in the sport. What this in turn signifies is that Germany is the biggest sponsoring country with Adidas, Puma and Uhlsport all being there and making up 56% of teams’ sponsors. The Unites States follow as the largest sponsoring country, represented solely by Nike. No other country has more than one brand and none of the m sponsor more than one team.

Interstingly, the Belgian team is sponsored by the Swiss company BURRDA whilst the Swiss national team is sponsored by Puma. Similarly, Costa Rica is sponsored by the Italian Lotto brand whilst the Italian national team are also sponsored by Puma. Finally Honduras is sponsored by Spanish brand Joma whilst the Spanish team were sponsored by Adidas.

Finally Iran was sponsored by German brand Uhlsport.

Brands by FIFA ranking

Looking at FIFA takings from right before the World Cup started we find that Adidas sponsored numbers 1 and 2 (Spain and Germany) whilst Nike sponsored numbers 2 and 4 (Brazil and Portugal). Puma’s top teams were Switzerland and Uruguay ranked respectively 6th and 7th.

The top smaller brand BURRDA with the Beligum team who ranked 11th. The other 4 smaller Brands’ team then all ranked between 26th and 43rd.

Whilst Nike, Adidas and Puma do sponsor the highest rank teams they also sponsor the lowest one with Australia (62nd) and South Korea (57th) being sponsored by Nike, Cameroon (56th) sponsored by Puma whilst Nigeria (44th) and Japan (46th) represent Adidas.

If we average the FIFA ranking for the big three sponsors Adidas comes out slightly higher with an average ranking of 18.4 vs. 21.1 for Nike and 21.75 for Puma.

Brands by World Cup Result

Whilst the final two games are yet to be played we know that the winner and runner up will be Adidas sponsored teams (Argentina or Germany) and the 3rd and 4th place finishers will be Nike sponsored team (Brazil or The Netherlands). Furthermore, whilst there is not an official ranking from the World Cup we can rank all teams that lost in the quarter final as 5th, all those that lost in the knockout round as 9th, all teams that finished 3rd in their group as 17th and ll those that finished last in their groups as 25th.

Using the above methodology we find that Adidas team’s averaged 11th place, Nike 14th and Puma 15th.

Whilst this might be slightly abstract it reflect the following facts:

-Puma and Adidas lost 4 teams in the group stages, Nike lost 5.

– Nike lost both England and Portugal in the group stage, both of whom were ranked in FIFA’s top 10 before the tournament

– Not one Puma team made it beyond the knockout round. However the sole team sponsored by Lotto and BURRDA made it to the quarter finals

Here is a look at the final 8 by team/sponsorship.



The winner: undoubtedly this has to be Adidas as we know one of their teams will lift the golden trophy before the final even kicks off.

The loser: considering they sponsored 8 teams, had Italy lose in the group stages and not a single team make it to the quarter final, Puma will be quite disappointed with this World Cup.

The dark horse: whilst BURRDA also made it through to the quarter finals thanks to Belgium, their FIFA ranking before the tournament was decent (11th) and hence the dark horse has to be Lotto thanks to Costa Rica. Indeed with only team they sponsored they made it to the quarter final despite being ranked 28th before the World Cup. Furthermore, they captured the imagination of the world of were the tournaments underdog throughout.

And Nike… Nike sponsored the most teams but despite this will not even be in the final. Furthermore a number of their teams suffered shock exits such as FIFA #1 Spain in the group stage as well as the host Brazil in historic 7-1 loss to Adidas sponsored Germany.

Finally here is a look at how each brand was represented at ah stage of the competition:

pie charts




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