The World Cup and adidas are synonymous, their relationship going back to the 1970 World Cup and the Telstar match ball.
Adidas provided only 20 match balls for the tournament, but they must have been good. The Mexico 1970 is considered one of the best, if not best World Cup in history, and adidas has since sold an estimated 600,000 Telstar replica balls.
So it should be no surprise that adidas has reached an agreement with FIFA to extend their partnership through the 2030 World Cup. No figures were released on the agreement, but industry estimates put a top-tier FIFA sponsorship at $100 million per World Cup cycle. (Coca-Cola and Hyundai recently renewed through the 2022 World Cup.)
“This unique partnership ensuring our presence at all forthcoming World Cup tournaments will help Adidas enhance its position as the world's top football brand,” Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said in a statement.
Adidas has introduced the Brazuca ball as the official ball of Brazil 2014.
MEXICO FANS STAY UP TO WATCH. Have Mexican fans in the United States lost faith in El Tri? Hardly. The New Zealand-Mexico game that kicked at 1 a.m. ET on Wednesday drew an average of 3.1 million total viewers.
The second leg of the intercontinental playoffs kicked off an 10 p.m. in Los Angeles but it was still the most watched program of the day in Los Angeles among adults 18-49 and 18-34.
The audience for the first leg -- a Wednesday afternoon kick off -- was greater on Univision stations than ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined in Los Angeles and Houston.
-- The second leg, which Mexico won, 4-2, to clinch a berth in the World Cup for the sixth straight tournament, was the No. 1 sports program on broadcast TV in terms of social media activity, regardless of language.
OH, THOSE CRAZY FRENCHMEN. Few Frenchmen gave their national team a chance of overcoming its 2-0 deficit in the second leg of the European World Cup playoffs against Ukraine, but 13,278,000 viewers -- the largest audience of the year for any program on French television -- watched the Bleus' 3-0 win that qualified them for Brazil 2014.
Among those who had to pay up on losing bets:
The proprietor of a France porno site offered free access for a day if the Bleus qualified. The site crashed after 45 seconds.
Doria Tillier, the popular weather person for Canal-Plus, promised to do the weather "à poil" (in the nude) if the Bleus went through. She settled up literally -- running naked through the fields in the town of Poil with Canal-Plus cameras in the distance.
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