Nike and adidas race to move stock during the Women’s World Cup

The Women’s World Cup-fueled retail economy

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The Future. The FIFA Women’s World Cup has been a rollercoaster for apparel sponsors, with sports fashion stalwarts Nike and adidas feeling the highs and lows of sales as teams get eliminated. Still, both brands (and retailers) see rising demand for the sport as an overall win, with FIFA expecting the World Cup to hit a record viewership of two billion people. That may be because one in three women’s soccer fans are actually new fans of the game. In other words, ladies’ footy may be a fast-growing sport.

Kicked into high gear
Apparel sales tied to the Women’s World Cup have been just as unpredictable as the games themselves.

  • Nike nearly sold out of its premium clothing collaboration with USWNT designer Martine Rose, which included pieces like a suit jacket and slip-on shoes that resembled cleats.
  • But Nike (a sponsor of the US and England), has only sold out of 8% of its overall women’s soccer-centric stock — down from 13% during the 2019 games.
  • Meanwhile, adidas (a sponsor of Germany, Sweden, and Spain) has sold out of 21% of its sponsored products — up from 8% in 2019.
  • And showing winning isn’t everything, adidas will likely sell out of its Germany jerseys even after the team was eliminated from the tournament.

But back to the US team. Despite the ups and downs, total sponsorship value for the games hit a record high of $349 million, with brands focused on women’s empowerment (the theme of the summer, really).

According to Fanatics, the number of sponsored products for sale on its platform nearly tripled, and the company still saw sales skyrocket 80% compared to 2019. That’s a booming market.


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