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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nike v. Adidas: Soccer World Cup sponsors gear up for England, Spain finale

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When England and Spain face off in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final, there will be more than sporting pride at stake. A potential multimillion dollar sales boost is also on the table for the winning team’s sponsor – Nike, or Adidas.

Sports sponsorship is a huge driver of sales for apparel manufacturers. In 2019, Nike’s home jersey for the World Cup-winning U.S. National Women’s Team became the top-selling soccer jersey, for both men and women, ever sold in a single season on its website, executives told investors.

Overall revenue in the first quarter after the tournament grew 10%, Nike said, including double-digit growth in the company’s women’s business “off the back of an incredible summer of celebrating female athletes.”

Apparel revenue from the 2019 Women’s World Cup was four times bigger than it was for the 2015 event, executives said.

Now longtime rivals Nike, sponsoring England, and Adidas, sponsoring Spain, will be hoping to build on that performance.

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“It’s after the game when they really start to get that exposure and bang for their buck,” added Liz Papasakelariou, the North American consumer products lead for consulting group Publicis Sapient.

Nike and Adidas accounted for the majority of the kits worn in the women’s tournament, with 23 of the 32 team jerseys in the newly expanded field supplied by the two companies. Nike backed 13 teams, while Adidas had 10.

An unpredictable tournament with major power players knocked out early created bumps in demand for merchandise from the two sportswear giants.

Nike lost enormous earning potential as the U.S. team, which it has sponsored since 1995, suffered their earliest exit ever in the tournament.

However, its deal with the European champions England has proven lucrative as the Lionesses go for their maiden title in the final against Spain.

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The England women’s jersey, priced at 79.95 pounds ($102), was sold out in all sizes except for extra-small on retailer JD Sports’ (JD.L) website on Wednesday, mimicking the demand seen during the Lionesses’ historic run to the European Championship last year.

England jerseys looked set to sell out before the final at retailer Sports Direct, with a “massive uptick” in demand for celebration flags and bunting too, according to Ger Wright, managing director of sport at parent company Frasers Group (FRAS.L).

“The demand for the Lionesses Nike jersey has been incredibly strong, and given their tremendous win to make it into the final, we expect fans will be showing their support by wearing the team’s colors,” Nike said.

Adidas said it sees “continued demand” for Spain jerseys and is replenishing stocks in retail partners and its own stores. Its replica jerseys are priced at 90 euros, while authentic jerseys cost 140 euros.

The German sportswear giant also plans to roll out “bespoke celebratory apparel” within days of the final if Spain lift the trophy.

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Tournament co-host Australia’s run to the semi-final, where they lost to England on Wednesday, also prompted “unprecedented demand” for the team’s jersey, Nike said, with 13 times as many sold to date in Australia than in the same period of the 2019 tournament.

Adidas’ CEO earlier this month said demand for its Women’s World Cup products overall has been stronger than it expected.

Spanish broadcaster TVE saw an average of 1.92 million viewers with a 45.5% share during Spain’s semi-final win over Sweden, making it the most watched Women’s World Cup match yet in the country.

With an average audience of 7.13 million viewers – and a peak of 11.15 million – Australia’s semi-final against England was the highest-rated television program in Australia recorded by research firm OzTAM since it launched in 2001.

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

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Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Dominican Republic 2024:Flamingos land in the Dominican Republic!

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Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, have secured their ticket to the 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic later this year, after a 2-0 defeat of their Liberian counterparts at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.

Victory took the aggregate tally to 6-1 in favour of Nigeria, with extraordinary poacher Harmony Chidi setting a record of 13 goals in a qualifying series that will be difficult to equal in years to come. She had 11 goals before kick-off, but netted the two goals of the evening to take Nigeria’s total of the series to a whopping 25. Central African Republic fell by a dozen goals while Burkina Faso fell 1-7 on aggregate.

Her first came after only four minutes when she sped past the Liberian defence to toe-poke the ball beyond the flailing arms of goalkeeper Makula Konneh from a cross by Shakirat Moshood.

A goal feast was expected, but this did not happen, as Peace Effiong had a close call in the 17th and Moshood rocked the crossbar a minute after from 20 yards. Moshood also missed from close range with 10 minutes left of the first half.

In the 56th minute, Moshood blasted beyond the goalpost when faced with Konneh, but Harmony Chidi made sure of her brace seven minutes later when she lashed the ball beyond Konneh’s reach as Nigeria seized the ball from a defensive slip-up by the visitors.

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The 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.

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