HERZOGENAURACH, Germany: The pride of sportswear giant Adidas received a shock knock from news that the German Football Association is seriously considering ditching the company in favour of a more lucrative sponsorship offer from arch-rival and world number one player Nike [WARC News: 01-Feb-07].

The latter has bid €500 million ($649m; £329m) for the contract - six times more than Adidas's current deal - but the local firm claims it reached agreement with the DFB last August to sponsor the squad until 2014. The players have worn the company's branded apparel since 1954.

To add insult to injury, the soccer bosses have released the results of a survey which indicates that 72% of the German public would have little problem dumping the homegrown sponsor if the extra cash was used to develop the stars of the future.

Negotiations are continuing while Adidas and the DFB argue whether their current agreement runs until 2010 or 2014.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff