Commentary

Nike-Gate rocks Bayern Munich

By Paul Kennedy

Bayern Munich is an adidas team through and through. The German manufacturer has been Bayern's uniform sponsor for more than 50 years and has been since 2002 a minority owner of the giant German club, so it was naturally a little surprised when new signing, young German superstar, Mario Goetze, showed up recently at his unveiling wearing a Nike T-shirt.

Goetze was one of three players fined by Bayern Munich for wearing Nike gear in violation of their contracts that require them to wear adidas attire at all official club events. The only exception: shoes.

Jan Kirchhoff, who signed with Bayern from Mainz, also wore a Nike shirt to the press conference for Bayern's new signings, and Mario Gomez, who has since been transferred to Fiorentina, was seen wearing a Nike cap at training. Their fines were donated to the recent victims of heavy flooding in Germany.

"The pictures from today's press conference with Mario Goetze have negatively surprised us," said adidas in a tersely written statement about what the German press has dubbed "Nike-Gate."

Bayern and adidas are in the second year of an eight-year deal worth $289 million, according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung.

Unfortunately, Goetze, who was signed from rival Borussia Dortmund for a German record transfer fee of $45 million, may have not gotten the message as, according to the Daily Mail, he showed up at Bayern's summer training camp in Italy wearing a Nike hat -- even after Bayern apologized to adidas for the earlier incident.

CONFEDERATIONS CUP VIEWING. FIFA reported that the Brazil-Spain final at the 2013 Confederations Cup attracted more than 69.3 million viewers across 10 key markets such as the USA, Germany, France and China -- more than 11 million higher than the audience for the final of the 2009 tournament in South Africa in those markets.

The final was watched by 42 million Brazilians -- 36.7 million on TV Globo and 5.3 million on Bandeirantes -- nearly 50 per cent more than the Brazilian audience for the final of the 2010 World Cup.

In Spain, 10.7 million watched the game on Telecinco -- the biggest audience for any program on Spanish television this year.
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