Brazil isn't the only big name getting kicked around in the soccer world.

On Tuesday, Nike (NYSE: Nike has been a sponsor of the English Premier League team since 2002.

“Any partnership with a club or federation has to be mutually beneficial, and the terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders,” Nike said.

Playing To Their Core Clientele

And that's a statement sports and entertainment attorney Darren Heitner can agree with.

“Nike has made a sincere effort to expand its presence in the soccer world and has largely accomplished a goal of becoming the brand of choice alongside Adidas,” Heitner told Benzinga. “That said, Nike's core clientele is outside of soccer. Based on the sheer amount of dollars it would have taken to maintain a tie to Man U, it makes sense that Nike turned away for the time being.”

Related Link: Twitter And The World Cup: The Digital Match Made In Heaven

The New York Times pointed out that the 2002 contract was worth about $519 million at the current exchange rate.

Nike shares opened sharply lower on Thursday. Man U, which became a publicly traded entity in 2012, is down about 2.5 percent since Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported that lead Nike competitor, Adidas (OTC: ADDYY), offered at least $103 million per year to sponsor the team.

Adidas currently sponsors Real Madrid, a club that along with Man U is arguably one of the two most popular soccer teams in the world. They are also two of the most valuable teams, combining for a total value of about $6.2 billion.

For Adidas, who manufactured Man U jerseys in the 1980s and 1990s, a sponsorship of the team would help further solidify the company's standing as a leader in the sport apparel space.

“Adidas has proven throughout the World Cup that it is willing and able to dedicate the necessary resources to remain a juggernaut in the soccer space,” said Heitner.

“Committing to Man U, despite the major cost, really makes the brand put its money where its mouth is," he continued. "Having Real Madrid and Man U in addition to sponsoring Germany and Argentina in the World Cup is a major win for Adidas.”

Germany and Argentina will face each other in the 2014 World Cup final on July 13.

Last month, Adidas CEO Herbert Haine said the company would earn two billions euros ($2.44 billion) in soccer sales for 2014. Reuters noted Adidas has been losing market share in western Europe to Nike.

And last November, a soccer publication pointed out how the apparel companies “will go to any lengths, to secure an extra edge over their rivals.” The article also noted how major sponsors clamor over a sport’s individual stars, i.e., Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Root For The Team, Or The Player?

But what’s the more important brand: person or team?

“It is tough to prioritize one over the other,” said Heitner, who noted fans commonly associate more with teams than players.

“Brands want to be affiliated with the best in class. Teams provide different benefits than players. Typically teams create more eyeball exposure, while players can tell more of a story, enhance influence through appearances, and be a real voice of the brand. The real win for any brand is to maintain a relationship with a standout player on a team that it also sponsors.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Oil Producers in Asia

    Learn which Asian countries deliver the most crude oil to market, and discover what companies are the biggest producers in each country.
  2. Stock Analysis

    The 5 Biggest Russian Oil Companies

    Discover the top Russian oil companies by production volume and find out more about their domestic and international business operations.
  3. Insurance

    The 5 Biggest Russian Insurance Companies

    Discover the five companies that dominate the Russian insurance market, and learn a little more about their business operations and ownership.
  4. Insurance

    Biggest Life Insurance Companies in the US

    Read about the top life insurance companies in the United States as measured by written premiums and learn a little more about their business operations.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The 7 Biggest Chinese Mining Companies

    Read about the seven largest Chinese mining companies as measured by revenues, and learn more about the types of mineral resources they mine.
  6. Stock Analysis

    The 6 Biggest Life Insurance Companies in Canada

    Read about the biggest life insurance companies in Canada, and learn about their business operations and the types of products they offer.
  7. Stock Analysis

    The 7 Biggest Canadian Natural Gas Companies

    Read about the seven biggest Canadian natural gas companies as measured by production volume and learn a little more about their recent performance.
  8. Stock Analysis

    The 6 Biggest Chinese Energy Companies

    Read about the six companies atop the Chinese energy industry as measured by consolidated revenue, and learn more about their energy operations.
  9. Stock Analysis

    The 5 Biggest Chinese Oil Companies

    Read about the top five Chinese oil companies as measured by crude oil production volume, and learn a little more about their business operations.
  10. Stock Analysis

    The 7 Biggest Canadian Energy Companies

    Read about the largest seven Canadian energy companies as measured by market capitalization, and learn more about their energy operations.
  1. What is the long-term outlook of the metals and mining sector?

    An industry agency council was established by the World Economic Forum in 2014 to serve as an advisory board on the future ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the railroads sector?

    The railroads sector is comprised of publicly traded stocks for companies that operate railroad tracks and/or trains. Railroad ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Who are Amgen Inc.'s (AMGN) main competitors?

    Biotech giant Amgen Inc (AMGN) bills itself as one of the first biotechnology firms. It was founded in 1980 and has grown ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What's the most expensive stock of all time?

    Back in late August 2012, Apple’s (AAPL) stock price reached nearly $700 per share. The stock has since split but has yet ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!