Nike leads Adidas as the sportswear brand with most valuable football players sponsorship deals.
According to a study by the CIES Football Observatory in Neuchatel, Switzerland, the combined value of the 100 most expensive players in the professional leagues of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain has hit €8.97bn ($11.2 bn).
Combining data on individual shoe sponsors revealed that 57% of that value came from players wearing Nike boots -- including Alexis Sanchez and Virgil Van Dijk -- compared with 33% from those wearing Adidas. While, athletes endorsing footwear from Puma SE and Under Armour Inc. made up the rest.
Meanwhile, Adidas still retains overall lead vs. it’s U.S. rival in soccer revenue.
Raffaele Poli, who heads the CIEF Football Observatory said: “There is an arms race for the top players and a dramatic increase of sponsorship money.
"The inflation in player value comes in large part from booming sporting-goods sales: Nike seeks $50 bn in revenue by fiscal 2020 and Adidas about 26 bn euros, meaning their combined marketing spending, typically 10% to 12% of sales, may hit as much as $10 bn then."