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Nike or Adidas: The Winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Here is a look at how Nike emerged as the real winner in driving footfalls in its US stores during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“And I believe that we will make our voices heard and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years,” – Nike’s latest campaign cheering the USWNT (The United States Women’s National Soccer Team).

Not only did this particular ad campaign have over 22.3 million views and 280.2K likes on Twitter alone, but it also hints the dominance Nike had beyond social media – in terms of footfalls from women in its US stores which particularly spiked during the 2019 World Cup. This victory happened despite the fact that Adidas was the official sponsor of the World Cup. Nike, on the other hand, sponsored about two-thirds of the 24 teams at the World Cup.

Nike’s efforts in establishing itself as a go-to brand for women’s sportswear haven’t been new. The FIFA Women’s World Cup seemed to be the perfect opportunity to cash in on all the built-up reputation. It recently announced that US Women’s National Team shirt was the best selling football jersey — among both men and women— ever sold on Nike.com in a single season during the World Cup. Jersey sales went up by 200 percent and the company also had record sales of the US Women’s National Team shirt.

Some of its other efforts include collaborating with renowned French designer Marine Serre, winner of the 2017 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, thereby merging the worlds of designer fashion and sports.

Using the Near Platform, we analyzed the real-world visitation data of Americans during the tournament and were surprised to see the interesting battle of the sporting retail brands.

74% more women visited US stores selling Sportswear during the Women’s World Cup

Prior to the World Cup, prominent US brands such as Nike, Adidas or Dick’s Sporting Goods saw a higher visitation of male shoppers at 54%, while the women shoppers constituted only 46%. At the start of the World Cup, the visitation of females in these stores increased to 53%. Overall, there was a 74% rise in female visitors during the World Cup as compared to before.

The average time spent by women varied across stores, with experience stores hooking the shoppers for longer. For instance, the average time spent in sporting goods outlets was 36 minutes, compared to the Puma store in New York which saw the maximum dwell time of over 60 minutes.

Women Soccer team of the US has a history

It is no news that The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team has won three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals, set record TV ratings, drawn massive crowds, earned huge revenues for FIFA and U.S. Soccer, and helped to redefine the place of women in sports.

This can be seen in the recent uptake of sales across stores in the United States as well. Some of the stores that witnessed a rise in women footfall during the World Cup month were Modell’s Sporting Goods store located at 55 Chambers St, New York with a 21% rise in women’s footfall as compared to the previous month and Dick’s Sporting Goods in Atlanta also witnessed a 33% rise in female footfall followed by a 49% rise in the New York store. Big 5 Sporting Goods also did well in San Diego with an almost 80% rise in female footfall followed by Sunnyvale (CA).

On analyzing the average distance travelled to a store from the home location, women in New York traveled further to visit Modell’s Sporting Goods (5.6miles) than to Puma (4.6miles).

Nike, however, has a deeper connection with its audience due to its strong advertising and marketing campaigns. In June this year, Nike released one of the most viewed Football campaigns ever “Dream Further” which crosses nearly half a billion views across all digital and broadcast platforms, with digital garnering significantly higher views. The campaign launched to set the stage for this summer’s tournament in France and serves to extend a holistic celebration of the game at all levels. It features athletes from the 14 different World Cup teams alongside 10-year-old Makena Cook, former England player Alex Scott and Esports star F2TEKKZ. This is just one among many of the awareness campaigns by Nike that celebrate women in sports. Hence, it is not much of a shock that Nike benefitted the most from the Women’s World Cup.

The Nike Upper East Side store located at 3rd Avenue in New York topped in footfall (10X rise) from women shoppers followed by Adidas located at 610, Broadway, New York. While the Nike and Adidas rivalry continues, it will be interesting to know where are these women shoppers headed next after the World Cup season is over. Will the sales continue to spike or take a dip? Which stores will continue to attract more women’s footfalls?