MADRID - Nike is gearing up for its quadrennial FIFA World Cup showdown with Adidas, as the two companies battle for soccer bragging rights on the global stage.
Nike unveiled its World Cup offerings in footwear, apparel and accessories in Madrid the past two days.
Nike fired its latest shot Friday with the unveiling of the Mercurial Superfly boot worn by global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who will represent Portugal in this summer's World Cup in Brazil. "Nike is football's most innovative and powerful brand," said Nike CEO Mark Parker at the Madrid event.
Nike still trails Adidas slightly in terms of its soccer business when it comes to revenue.
Nike is outfitting a World Cup-high 10 teams, including Brazil, England and the U.S. The sportswear titans each have one of the world's two biggest soccer stars in its stable with Ronaldo shilling for Nike and Lionel Messi for Adidas
The new Mercurial boot is a product of four years of R&D in the Nike Sport Research Lab. It was created to "revolutionize speed."
The Mercurial first launched in 1998 and this is the fourth version of the Superfly.
Technological advances for the Mercurial include a new three knit weave that puts less material between the foot and ball to improve a player's touch.
The basketball sneaker like high-top design is intended to create a better fit.
In addition, the boots have added studs at the heel for stability and extra traction at the toe for enhanced grip.
"We are not trying to make the lightest boot, but the fastest one," says Phil McCartney, VP of Sport Performance Footwear.