The German sportswear company Adidas said on Monday that Euro 2008 football-related sales were already 50 percent stronger than during the championships in 2004.
Chief executive Herbert Hainer said. 'We will be about 50 percent above our sales level in 2004, when the championship was held in Portugal,' Hainer told journalists at a news conference.
Adidas in 2004 posted football-related sales of about 800 million euros, which rose to 1.2 billion euros in 2006, when the World Cup was held in Germany, Adidas' home country.
Hainer affirmed earlier statements saying the company has already reached some 80 percent of its targeted full-year football-related sales for this year. The German sporting goods giant has already reached its goal of selling 1 million German national team shirts during the championship, which is pitting 16 national teams against each other.
The company, which is equipping players from Germany, Spain, France, Greece and Romania with jerseys and football boots, is also still set to reach its aim of selling a total of 1.5 million national football team shirts
'And if Spain continues to play as it has, it may be even more,' he said.
Spain has so far beaten both Russia and Sweden in the tournament and is scheduled to face Greece's national team on Wednesday.
Asked who he thinks will come out of the tournament as the winning team, Hainer said he expects to see Spain and Germany compete in the semi final stage next week.
Germany will tonight face Austria's team, which is sponsored by Adidas rival Puma, in its last group stage match tonight, which will determine whether the team will advance in the tournament.
Puma is also sponsoring five teams during the tournament, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Poland and Czech Republic, while Nike, the world's biggest sporting goods maker, is equipping the remaining teams.
A spokesman for Puma said, in the first quarter, the company boosted its football-related sales by 10 percent from the year-earlier period, without being more specific.
The company has expanded its football division continuously since the World Cup tournament in 2006, he said.
Adidas said it has a 40 percent market share in the football boot market in Europe, more than Puma and Nike together, and a 50 percent market share in North America, according to market researcher NPD Sports.
Helped by the football-related sales amid the European Championship, Hainer said he sees the company so far being 'on the right track' in the second quarter, which ends on June 30.
Outside the tournament, sales are also boosted by Adidas' sponsorship of UK teams Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC and the Mexican national team, which may help the company's business in North America, he said
He affirmed that Adidas aims to achieve high single-digit sales growth this year compared with 2007, with at least 15 percent net profit growth.