Soccer is one of the most popular sports globally and draws in crowds and devoted fans from every country. These 10 brands have become fixtures of the soccer community, providing equipment, gear, and apparel to players of all levels.
Debatably the world's largest sports company, Nike owns a stake in just about every sport's market. When it comes to soccer, they are no different. The company sells some of the most popular cleats, soccer balls, and soccer training apparel. Nike sponsors some of the world's most famous athletes and teams. Among their most notable sponsored athletes are Neymar, Christiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Kylian Mbappé, Philippe Coutinho, and Kevin De Bruyne. These international superstars all represent Nike by wearing their cleats, apparel, and accessories. Chelsea, Real Madrid, Paris Soccer Club (PSG), and A.S. Roma are some of the most popular Nike sponsored teams. Nike was founded in 1964 in Eugene, Oregon as Blue Ribbon Sports. As a brand name, Nike was officially born in 1971. Since starting in the small town of Eugene, Nike has become a global power. Nike has become a juggernaut in the soccer world and has accumulated some of the best international representatives to continue their success.
Similar to Nike, Adidas is an international brand that owns a significant stake in many markets. They are an absolute powerhouse in soccer. Adidas sponsors some of the most successful soccer players and teams in the world. Players sponsored by Adidas include Paul Pogba, Jozy Altidoré, and Paulo Dybala. Adidas's lead sponsor is without a doubt Lionel Messi. Known as one of the world's best soccer players, Adidas has produced Messi cleats, clothing lines, and apparel. Popular international teams sponsored by Adidas are Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventas, and Real Madrid. Adidas' story of success began in Germany in 1924. Adidas is currently valued at over $40 billion and has been steadily increasing. Adidas produces just about every piece of equipment used in soccer. Along with their equipment, they sell clothing, cleats, and other accessories for soccer.
Two brothers originally worked together on creating Adidas before a falling out in which they eventually split. One brother went on to market Adidas. The other, Rudolf Dassle, created Puma in 1948. Since then, Puma has produced a variety of shoes. Soccer cleats and shoes have been their most successful line. The legendary Pelè wore Puma cleats when he led Brazil to a World Cup Championship. Puma currently sponsors Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suárez, Sergio Agüero, and others. Teamwise, Puma's leading sponsors are Manchester City, AC Milan, Olympique Marseille. Puma's most popular products are their cleats, but they sell goods in nearly every soccer category. Puma tends to have relatively low prices for quality goods, and their leaping puma logo is easily recognizable.
Lotto was established in Montebelluna, Northern Italy, in 1973. From the beginning, Lotto has been a sports footwear manufacturer. Although they began with tennis shoes, Lotto was quick to come out with models made for many sports, including soccer. In the 1980s Lotto began to focus on the soccer industry. They started sponsoring teams and players, spreading the Lotto brand. Joan Capdevila and Luca Toni are two of their most well known athletes. Lotto is one of the world leaders in soccer apparel and equipment. Their focus in soccer is on cleats, but they do sell a variety of teamwear, soccer balls, shin guards, and other apparel.
Under Armour has been a recent entrant into the soccer world. Under Armour was founded in 1996 in Washington D.C. Originally an apparel brand, Kevin Plank created the brand to develop a shirt to promote athletic success. Over the years, they have come a long way, first creating otherclothing pieces, and then moving towards accessories, and eventually shoes. Eventually, they got into soccer cleats and soccer equipment. Under Armour currently has a handful of cleats out along with apparel to improve soccer play. Some notable schools that Under Armour sponsors include Auburn, Notre Dame, Navy, and UCLA. In professional soccer, Under Armour sponsors Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Cruz Azul, and São Paulo FC. Under Armour is currently still growing as a soccer brand and is looking to grab a bigger stake in the market in upcoming years.
Diadora is an Italian soccer brand founded in 1948. Diadora is the only Italian footwear and apparel company that still manufactures their products in Italy. Diadora has been an extremely versatile brand, beginning with mountain climbing boots, moving to ski boots, walking shoes, and tennis shoes. Eventually, in the mid 70s, Diadora moved into the soccer category. They currently have one of the highest market shares in the U.S. soccer market. Currently they sell cleats, shin guards, jackets, and all other soccer essentials. Diadora was a long time sponsor of the Italian national soccer team. They do not have a large portion of teams that they sponsor, but have focused on producing good quality apparel.
Born in 1934, Umbro was founded in Manchester, England. Umbro was the original "Manchester-based soccer brand", inventing sportswear and sports tailoring. Now, Umbro focuses on creating new and disruptive soccer apparel, footwear and equipment, mixing style and performance. As one of the world's leading soccer brands, Umbro's iconic double rainbow logo can be recognized across the world. Umbro has a long list of teams they sponsor, including Everton, Derby County FC, AFC Bournemouth, and Hull City. Players sponsored by the brand include Pepe, Gary Cahill, John Terry, and Kyle Walker. Umbro produces all kinds of soccer equipment and apparel. Jerseys, cleats, shorts, soccer balls, sweatpants, and shirts are among their most popular items. Their easily recognizable cleats are the most popular Umbro item.
Kappa is one of the most easily recognizable logos in the world. Their famous "Omini" logo shows a man and a woman sitting back to back. It represents the equality of men and women along with their mutual support. Originally, Kappa began as a sock and underwear company. In 1989, Kappa began sponsoring AC Milan, which at the time was the largest soccer team in Europe. This was great for their publicity and exposure. They began sponsoring numerous other teams. FC Barcelona went on to win the European Cup in 1997 while wearing Kappa uniforms. Kappa was designed to be a sportswear company. Although they once began in socks and underwear, they are now an international brand. In recent years, their tracksuits and new-age apparel have rapidly become popular. They remain as one of the most unique brands in soccer, and they currently sponsor Torino, Leeds, Real Betis, and Deportivo Saprissa to name a few teams.
Self labeled as "the world's original sports brand," Mitre was established in 1817. The name was originally Crook and Sons Ltd, but the name was changed to Mitre in 1949. Prior to 1959, the company produced leatherwear: footballs and rugby balls for clubs worldwide. After 1959, they began selling products in cricket, soft leather and bags, and eventually footwear. Mitre's famous soccer ball is one of the most commonly used balls around the world. Mitre aims to keep the game of soccer consistent. Although there is much exposure and glamour in today's world they believe the game should remain unchanged. Mitre sponsors a number of teams and players. The Mitre brand is represented in the English Football League, WPL, Eastern Countries League, and the National Premier Soccer League. A classic brand like Mitre has somehow found a way to stick around for so long and still have a large presence in soccer.
This Japanese athletic manufacturer was created in 1906. Their first launches were all in the baseball category: uniforms, gloves, and shoes. By the 1930s they had become diversified in many sports. Their first soccer cleats were released in 1980. Mizuno remains a diverse brand with no clear specialty. They have begun getting popular in soccer as a result of their cleats. This remains their most notable soccer item. Well known soccer players that sport Mizuno cleats include Givanildo Vieira de Sousa "Hulk," Lazar Markovic, and Kaka. Mizuno is known for making their cleats light but with very high quality materials. They are known to be durable and are the favorite cleats of many soccer players. Mizuno has remained one of the most well respected soccer brands over the years.