Thats it, the Round of 16 is over, the Quarter Finals are set and while eight teams prepare for their upcoming matches, eight other teams are packing their bags. Against all odds, Lotto is not among the Brands being packed up, and Burrda, though Belgium was rated, managed to stay in the World Cup after a hard won match yesterday that went into extra time against Nike and the United States.
Puma, however, despite being almost even on representation with Nike and Adidas after the group stages, now find themselves out of World Cup representation as Switzerland fell to Argentina yesterday.
The past two days have seen those teams that advanced out of Groups C,D,E, and F have play their Round of 16 matchups and every single team who topped their group, has now advanced past every team who came in second in their group which sends Nigeria, Algeria, USA, and Switzerland packing. As mentioned above with Switzerland’s loss to Argentina, Puma have now been eliminated, while USA’s loss knocks out a Nike representative.
Combine the results yesterday with the results from Monday where France and Nike knocked out Adidas and Nigeria and where Adidas and Germany eliminated Puma and Algeria and the Brand Landscape for National team apparel sponsors takes on a familiar image. Lotto and Burrda have survived one more round and keep the single team sponsor hopes alive and as with the beginning of the Round of 16, Adidas and Nike sit tied with three representatives each. (Nike – 3, Adidas – 3, Lotto & Burrda – 1 each)
Now only four Brands remain in contention, Nike and Adidas look heavy favorites to make up the Semi final representation as Lotto and Costa Rica face up against Nike and the Netherlands in their quarter Final matchup. Burrda & Belgium faces interesting opposition in Adidas and Argentina as both teams have not appeared to be greater than the sum of their parts, no matter how talented their parts may be.
With the elimination of Nike’s USA, it leaves only Germany as the team with a domestic based apparel sponsor as Burrda is a Swiss company and Lotto is Italian. It seems a bit unlikely that it will be an all European based apparel sponsor battle with France, Brazil and the Netherlands all sponsored by American sportswear giants Nike but it will be interesting nonetheless the to see how everything plays out.
All the Semi-final matchups will be covered tomorrow in a feature regarding on-field Brand performance at this World Cup.