sportswear group Nike is banking on its sponsorship of more of the world's best known soccer stars than Adidas in its battle to overtake the German firm as the sport's top selling brand at its World Cup this summer. Nike has signed six of the 10 most marketable footballers in the world, to just three for Adidas and one for smaller German brand Puma, according to a new ranking by sports marketing research group Repucom published on Wednesday. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, sponsored by Nike, tops the Repucom ranking, with almost 84 percent of people around the world saying they know the Real Madrid striker, helping to sell over one million shirts with his name on the back in 2013. In second place is Lionel Messi of Argentina, front man for the Adidas campaign who scores 76 percent global awareness according to Repucom his marketability little dented by a mixed run of form for Barcelona this season. The appeal of the extrovert Ronaldo, who took the crown as the world's best player from Messi in January, is helped by his use of Twitter, where he has 26 million followers to just two million for the more retiring Argentine. Ronaldo probably helps sell shirts even when he isn't wearing one he poses nude on the cover of the latest Spanish Vogue with his model girlfriend Irina Shayk though the branding benefits are shared as Adidas sponsors Real Madrid. "While it is primarily about performance on the pitch, a player's appeal is about a whole range of variables. With a footballer, you see everything, on the pitch and off the pitch, week in, week out," said Repucom founder Paul Smith. "Athletes like Ronaldo have something unique that if you could bottle it and sell it, you would do nothing else." Nike tries to do just that with a glitzy ad featuring Ronaldo and Shayk in which boys playing football in the local park end up scoring a penalty in a huge stadium against their heroes, including others from the Repucom top 10 such as England's Wayne Rooney and Brazil's Neymar. Adidas has retaliated with a new ad launched last Saturday which shows Messi dreaming about his rivals such as Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany, Luis Suarez of Uruguay and Dani Alves of Brazil, none of whom feature in the Repucom ranking. ADIDAS ON THE RUN Adidas, which has long dominated the market for soccer boots, shirts and balls, is facing a fierce challenge from Nike, the world's biggest sportswear company that has only been a serious player in soccer for the last 20 years. While Adidas has supplied the match ball for the World Cup since 1970 and has extended its sponsorship of the competition to 2030, Nike is for the first time kitting out more teams 10 out of 32 finalists including hosts and favourites Brazil. Adidas, which is supplying nine teams including reigning champions Spain, as well as Argentina and Germany, expects to make a record 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) from football this year, still exceeding Nike's $2 billion of soccer turnover. "Football is the DNA of our company. We want to clearly show that we are number one in football," Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told journalists last week, adding Adidas expected to sell significantly more balls than at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago and about as many shirts. Hainer acknowledged that Adidas faced a "head to head" race with Nike in the soccer shoe market, but predicted Adidas would still sell 2 million pairs of special World Cup boots. Nike believes it has already overtaken Adidas in boots, including in its rival's home market Germany. While Adidas will be supplying the German kit, many of the country's top players now wear Nike boots, with nine members of the team that started against Poland this month sporting Nike. However, Hainer dismissed suggestions Adidas had not signed the right stars, saying 14 of the 27 members of the German squad would be wearing boots with Adidas' trademark three stripes. Meanwhile, Puma, whose only player in the Repucom top 10 is former France striker Thierry Henry, is resorting to a stunt to attract attention: it has persuaded players such as Italy's maverick striker Mario Balotelli, Marco Reus of Germany and Cesc Fabregas of Spain to wear one pink and one blue "Tricks" boot. "I have to be honest, the first time I saw the Tricks boots, I thought the Puma guy was mad. But when I realised he wasn't, I was already excited," Balotelli said. 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In fact if you want a major non essential renovation on your home, you may want to consider waiting until the housing boom slows down. Very simply all reputable housing trades want to earn the most amount of money they can while the housing boom lasts. Again nothing wrong with this. Ask yourself what you would do in their shoes? or their boots. DO NOT, I repeat do not insult the trade with an offer like "if you do a good job on my house I will recommend you to many others". When I first started in business I believed this empty promise and never end getting one lead from anyone who said this. Now as a seasoned business person I would just answer that for every new paying customer they bring me I will deduct X amount off their bill. Women Nike Free Run 2 Turquoise White Orange,Going outTo celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the American playwright Tennessee Williams, a new production of his classic play 'The Glass Menagerie' will be staged by Town Hall Theatre Galway and TheatreCorp at The Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, next month. The play tells the story of Tom Wingfield, a son longing to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother, Amanda, worries about the future prospects of his shy, lame sister, Laura. As the family works hard to survive, the mother struggles to free herself of a dependent daughter, whilst she uses her own fantasies of a glamorous past in the Deep South to keep her own reality bearable. Her son meanwhile tries desperately to keep his own dreams alive. Many have speculated that 'The Glass Menagerie' is more than a little autobiographical, reflecting the characters and themes that populated the playwright's own life, including his guilt ridden efforts to escape his own mother in order to pursue his artistic destiny. Williams also had a frail sister, though some believe the character in the play, Laura Wingfield, references his own introvert nature and obsessive focus on one aspect of life (glass animals for Laura, writing in Williams's case). 'The Glass Menagerie' was first staged in New York in 1945, where it enjoyed a successful Broadway run. In 1950 it was turned into a major motion picture by Irving Rapper, starring Gertrude Lawrence, Jane Wyman, Kirk Douglas, Ann Tyrrell and Arthur Kennedy. The film was subsequently remade by Paul Newman in 1987, this time starring Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen, and James Naughton. Commenting on the former, which had an implied happy ending grafted onto it, as was the style of American films from that era, Williams said it was the worst adaptation of his work. Other works by Williams that have made the big screen include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'. The new stage production by Town Hall Theatre Galway and TheatreCorp is directed by Max Hafler, with a cast that includes veteran Abbey actor Maria McDermottroe, with Marcus Lamb (DruidSynge), TG4 regular Sean O Meallaigh (Ros na Rn, Seachtar na Casca, Rasa na Gaillimhe) and Ionia N Chroinn (Moonfish Theatre Co).
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