World Cup kick-starts sales for Adidas

Image: England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup
Goalie Robert Green of England misjudges the ball and lets in a goal during a World Cup match between England and USA on June 12 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. Adidas is the maker of the official World Cup 2010 ball.Martin Rose / Getty Images
/ Source: The Associated Press

German sporting goods giant Adidas AG predicts it will net euro1.5 billion ($1.86 billion) in sales of balls, jerseys and shoes linked to the World Cup in South Africa this year.

The company based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said Monday its football gear sales were up more than 15 percent, compared with 2008, when the European football championship was held. The company reported a 26 percent jump in sales of football products for the first quarter of 2010.

The company said it has sold more than 6.5 million replica jerseys, led by bestsellers from Germany, Mexico, South Africa and Argentina. Adidas equips 12 teams competing at this year's tournament.