JOHANNESBURG—As the first round of World Cup matches conclude, analysts have said that despite several dramatic and valiant displays from underdogs, traditional soccer juggernauts Nike and Adidas are still the favorites to reach the World Cup final. "While we've seen plucky performances from the Umbro and Puma platoons, they just don't have the depth or strength to reach the final rounds," said Hartmut Zastrow, executive director of the research firm Sport+Markt. "And while I personally admire fan favorite Le Coq Sportif, it's doubtful you'll see much of them after the first week." At press time Adidas was defending well and appeared to have a slight edge in terms of brand awareness, but Nike was making gains and pushing aggressively.
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