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Football / Two Brazil soccer fans caught with grenade
« on: June 04, 2007, 08:30:03 PM »
SAO PAULO, Brazil - Two Brazilian soccer fans accused of planning to throw a grenade at a bus full of rival supporters after a league game were arrested.

The two Palmeiras fans were stopped at a highway checkpoint Sunday night following the team’s 3-1 loss to Cruzeiro in Sao Paulo, the federal highway police said.

The fans were carrying an American-made grenade and confessed they were going to throw it at the bus taking Cruzeiro fans to the team’s hometown of Belo Horizonte, about 340 miles from Sao Paulo, police said.

Football / JOGA.COM
« on: March 28, 2006, 11:23:49 AM »
This is a new soccer site guys. Its a collaboration between Nikefootball and google.You can watch videos, download clips to yuh iPod and cell phones.They also have a message board. I not working for them, just passing on the info.


Football / Adidas' World Cup Shutout
« on: March 28, 2006, 11:19:39 AM »
Adidas' World Cup Shutout
Stanley Holmes
BusinessWeek April 3 2006

U.S. fans of soccer's big event will see only Adidas ads on TV. Nike's response: A MySpace-style site for soccer nuts

In new Adidas TV ads, U.S. soccer star Pablo Mastroeni and Mexican soccer standout Jaime Lozano have three hours to recruit amateur players from the streets and beaches of Los Angeles. Their goal is to form one team of U.S. players and one team of Mexican-born players to square off in a sandlot soccer game. The ad, one in a series, is meant to capture the high-octane international rivalries that will erupt starting on June 9, the kick-off of FIFA World Cup Soccer. But all that competitive tension is nothing compared with how the company behind the ads, Adidas Group, feels about soccer when it comes to its nemesis, Nike Inc. (NKE ). Advertisement

In the latest escalation of this decades-old rivalry, Adidas is pumping big bucks into soccer, the only category in which it leads Nike, to try to close the overall gap between the two companies. Over the next few months, Adidas is spending about $200 million to market all things soccer. Shoes, boots, national team jerseys, soccer balls, and more are featured in the ad campaign, dubbed "+10," which revolves around the idea that one player plus 10 others equals a team.

The World Cup's global TV and Web audience is bigger than the Olympics' or the Super Bowl's -- 28 billion in-home viewers worldwide. Adidas is an official sponsor and paid for the rights to shut Nike out of TV advertising in the U.S. for all 64 games. It's vital for Adidas "to dominate the World Cup," says CEO Herbert Hainer.

Hainer has some momentum, but he's under pressure to deliver more. After spending $3.8 billion to buy Reebok International last fall to boost Adidas' women's business, Hainer must prove the deal was more than a market share grab and integrate the companies smoothly. Meanwhile, Adidas, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, has made gains in baseball and basketball in the U.S. and abroad. Its soccer business is growing in Europe at Nike's expense, and overall sales in Asia are rising faster than those of the U.S. sneaker giant. Adidas' global share of the branded footwear market is 34%, vs. Nike's 38%, according to NPD Group. But Adidas has surpassed Nike overall in Japan. Even its once-prosaic advertising, which paled in comparison with Nike's iconic spots, has given way to cinematic, edgy ads such as the World Cup campaign and spots featuring superstar David Beckham created by TBWA\Chiat\Day (OMC ), the same agency that handles Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL ) ads. Although it trails Nike in the U.S. by 14 share points, Adidas has an overall share outside the U.S. of 28%, not far from Nike's 31% (table).

Nike isn't about to concede any sport to Adidas. The Beaverton (Ore.) shoe giant is beefing up its lead in basketball and running, and since soccer is such an important gateway to brand loyalty with children worldwide, it's also pushing back on the soccer field. "Our goal is to be the No. 1 [soccer] brand in the world," says Nike President Charlie Denson.

Locked out of ad placements in the U.S. during the World Cup games, Nike is going guerrilla to get exposure. While Adidas blows its dollars on traditional ads, including locking up most of the outdoor signs in Germany, where the matches are being played, Nike is taking the viral and digital route. The company teamed with Google Inc. (GOOG ) to create the world's first social network for soccer fans, The site, which launched on Mar. 15, will roll out to 140 countries in 14 languages. Hoping to make Adidas wonder why it spent all that money on mere ads, Nike is making the site a replica of top social network site (NWS ) for soccer-mad fans to commune with each other over their favorite players and teams, download videos, create discussion groups, and the like. Nike expects millions of people to register. "It's this enormous focus on everything [soccer] that exists nowhere else that could make so rich," says Stefan Olander, Nike's global digital director.

The campaign and web site are named after the Brazilian phrase "joga bonito," or "play beautifully." Fans who join or visit Nike's site can sift through layers of video clips, messages, and ads involving Nike's star players as well as watch videos about the magic of soccer -- called ginga by Brazilians -- in different nations. Fans can then download the clips to their iPods, computers, wireless phones, or portable PlayStations. Says Trevor Edwards, Nike's vice-president for global brand management: "Kids are talking online, connecting online, it's just a part of their world.... Gone are the days of one big ad, one big shoe."

If Nike has achieved maximum brand cachet through associations with top athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, Adidas is betting on buzz-generating designs and sponsorships of its own to win back share. Last year the company introduced a $250 computerized running shoe, Adidas 1, with a microchip that senses fit and performance and helps change the shoe's shape during a run. And it's looking to its World Cup ad blitz to position the recently launched +F50 Tunit soccer boots as the must-have footwear for soccer players, especially against Nike's Mercurial Vapor III boot, which has gained popularity as the lightest soccer shoe on the market. The Tunit allows wearers to customize the fit, including choosing among different weights for shoe chassis and cleats to match weather conditions and even the wearer's style of play.

Addressing local design trends is paying off, too. Adidas took the lead from Nike in Japan after sponsoring the Japan national team in the 2002 World Cup and by coming up with the adiZero, a lightweight, thin-soled sneaker that hit the spot with Asian consumers. Adidas was early to see the trend in Japan "to more lifestyle footwear and away from the technical, performance brands," says John Shanley, who follows Adidas for Susquehanna Financial Group.

Adidas is growing faster than Nike in other Asian markets, too, notably in China. It spent $80 million to be the exclusive sneaker sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. "Nike could be rocked back on their heels...this all sets the stage for [expansion in] China," says Jeffrey Bliss, president of Javelin Group, an Alexandria (Va.) sports marketing firm. In fact, Adidas' gains in Asia pushed Nike to spend $44 million to sponsor the India national cricket team. That price tag may sound daft, but cricket is as much a gateway sport in India as soccer is in China.

All these frenzied moves and countermoves mean Adidas can't take its lead in soccer for granted. "I would never underestimate Nike's marketing muscle," says Sal Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners, a New York investment firm specializing in sports. "They always seem to have their finger on the pulse of what people want." Add to that pressure questions about whether Adidas can make the Reebok deal pay off, and the challenges of supplanting Nike in other markets remain huge. That's all the more reason Adidas needs its World Cup play to score early and often with fans.

Football / Fever spreading as Trophy reaches Trinidad
« on: February 17, 2006, 03:52:33 PM »
Fever spreading as Trophy reaches Trinidad.
Most people think of sun, sea and sand when Trinidad and Tobago is mentioned. The tiny nation is one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean but up until now, it has not been known for its football. Things are changing, though: the country is in the grip of football fever and right on cue the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour has arrived in town.
To the strains of Soca rhythms - a local mixture of soul and calypso – the golden Trophy landed in Trinidad's capital, Port of Spain on Thursday. With a population of 1.3 million, the island state is the smallest country ever to qualify for a FIFA World Cup. The enthusiasm of the inhabitants is all the greater, therefore, when they get up close and personal with the Trophy that will be the ultimate prize in Germany next summer.
There could be nowhere better to display the Trophy than the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, a place otherwise known as the headquarters of CONCACAF, the confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean football. This excellent complex in Port of Spain, built under the aegis of FIFA Vice-President and CONCACAF President Jack A. Warner, offers a variety of training facilities for the benefit of both club and international players. There are pitches, gyms, a pool and an enormous indoor hall where the FIFA World Cup Trophy was on display for the guests to see.
Dr Linda Baboolal, vice-president of Trinidad, was responsible for officially welcoming the Cup to Trinidad. "We are very proud that our country has qualified for the FIFA World Cup," she said, before underlining the importance of Trinidad's forthcoming participation in the world football showpiece. "Football brings nations together and the day when Trinidad and Tobago qualified was like a national holiday for me." (And after the Soca Warriors sealed their historic victory in the play-offs against Bahrain, the government did indeed decree a national holiday.)
One man taking particular pleasure in this first-ever participation at a FIFA World Cup is Oliver Camps, who was coach of the T&T team that narrowly missed out on a place at Italia 90. "In 1989, we almost made it but went down 1-0 to the USA in the decisive qualifier. Now, at last, we've done it." Camps is now president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and feels "a real sense of satisfaction that we will be in Germany next summer".
Nobody in Trinidad seems to mind that their boys will have to face two of the tournament's potential big guns in the shape of England and Sweden – sheer excitement about actually being there in June is the main emotion on the island at the moment. "We'll be there next summer, and we're really going to enjoy it and have a party," said Theresa, one of the first people to come and see the Trophy on the opening day. And while most will not be able to make it over to Germany, the streets of Trinidad and Tobago will no doubt stage their own large-scale celebrations.
Among the guests at this stage of the Trophy Tour was a group of handicapped children from Port of Spain, who thoroughly enjoyed this special occasion. Their eyes lit up with amazement and disbelief when the famous Trophy was unveiled. If it were up to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, the FIFA World Cup would begin tomorrow.

Several readers who read our whole-hearted mocking of Trinidad and Tobago have written to tell us how pleased they are that the Caribbean minnows have been drawn in England's World Cup group. In the hopes that Team Limey ends up with egg on our faces, they were relishing the prospect of an upset in that match. Fat chance.

Here at Castle Limey, there was much patting of backs following the draw. Our drawbridge rose with anticipation as we watched Heidi Klum fiddling with our balls. And the cannons fired from our battlements when she pulled out Trinidad (a team with less pedigree than the cast of Lady and the Tramp), Paraguay (the worst South American qualifier) and Sweden (men with comic Viking hats and attractive sisters).

And it got better from there. Team Limey sat salivating at our TV, eager to see to which teams we would be applying our favorite football cliché: Which teams had been drawn into the group of death? But at this World Cup, in a situation akin to finding two candy bars in your school lunchbox (next to the matching flask), there will be not one, but two groups of death.

Fighting it out in Bear Pit C will be Argentina, the Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro. The Argies and the Dutch should progress, but not without a strong challenge from the robust Serbs and arguably Africa's best team.

Chelsea's Michael Essien found his Ghanaian countrymen assigned to Bear Pit E, and a probable early flight home. They line up against one of Team Limey's outside tips: the Czech Republic, potential tournament winner Italy, and of course USA, USA, USA. Italy should win the group, but although second place is almost too close to call, we reckon that the Czechs will nick it and that flights from Nuremberg to New York on June 22 will be heavily booked. At least Americans will have fond memories of their deep-dish/thin-crust pizza standoff with the Italians to look back upon.

Those fans that need to be booking long-term accommodations in Germany hail from Brazil, England, Germany and Italy. In fact, we hear the Germans are so confident, they've even bought some real estate in the country. However, Team Limey can already feel the tears welling up in Dortmund on July 4 as top seed Brazil dispenses of England (the second seed) for the second consecutive World Cup. But we'll have our bronze medals to look forward to if we beat Italy (eighth seed), which we predict will have been dispatched by host Germany (fourth seed). Who wins the final? We didn't need any Brazilian barmaids to help us answer that one!

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