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TheStreet Open House

It's Nike vs. Adidas in the World Cup Semis

Stocks in this article: NKE ADDYY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The World Cup semifinals are now set and, in no surprise, Nike (NKE - Get Report) will be facing Adidas (ADDYY) for world domination.

Both soccer championship matches feature the two companies going head to head for a spot in the finals on July 13. Nike will be on the field with Brazil when the host country takes on an Adidas-kitted Germany. The other side of the bracket features Argentina versus the Swoosh-styled team from the Netherlands.

The two sports apparel companies account for $45 billion dollars and nearly 30% of the market share of the sporting world. When you take a closer look at the soccer market, that number shoots up to a combined 70%.

Adidas won't report on its earnings until August, a month after the tournament ends, but reports have pegged the German company's investment in the tournament at $70 million dollars. Nike reported its annual numbers right in the middle of the tournament. Total revenue had increased 11% to $7.4 billion dollars for the fiscal year. Its fastest-growing division, however, was soccer which rose 18% to $2.3 billion, from $1.9 billion in 2013.

In a recent conference call to analysts, Nike brand president Trevor Edwards said, "Our football (soccer) business has never been stronger."

>>Nike Spending on World Cup to Widen Appeal of Sports Apparel

>>The World Cup Is an Absolute Money Pit

The approach taken by both companies differs, however. Adidas is the official sponsor of FIFA's World Cup, with its name all over the tournament and the official game ball they have provided since 1970 and will through the 2030 tournament. While Nike has no official sanctioning from soccer's ruling body, the company has an edge in the number of players and teams they have sponsorship deals with.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is Lotto Sport Italia. The small private company rode the backs of a surprising Costa Rica team into the quarterfinals. While behemoths like Nike and Adidas have dominated the marketing of the World Cup and keep blank uniforms on hand in case a previously little-known player puts his name on the map during the cup, Lotto had trouble keeping up with demand.

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