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An Investor's Guide to the World Cup

When it comes to choosing sides for the World Cup, sporting goods companies might do well to have their own favorites.

The match ball for the opening World Cup fixture between South Africa and Mexico.
Getty Images
The match ball for the opening World Cup fixture between South Africa and Mexico.

A strong showing by the US, England or Brazil, for instance, would benefit Nike, while Adidas may want to root for Germany or Spain "or a superhuman performance from Argentinean phenomenon Lionel Messi," according to a research note from Credit Suisse, which picks its corporate winners depending on who brings home the global soccer championship.

Team sponsorship is big business, though Credit Suisse notes that revenue gains from the tournament don't always translate into help for the stock prices.

Puma joins Nike and Adidas as the major athletic brands watching the results. The company sponsors four of the six African teams in the Cup, so it would do well on strong showings from Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast or Ghana.

Certain countries also could get an economic boosts depending on how the much-watched championship turns out.

"It may seem far fetched, but given the jittery markets, we think investors should at least consider the potential impact if European consumer spending and confidence experiences even a slight bump as a result of an exciting tournament," the firm said. "This could be especially true if teams from trouble spots Spain, Portugal, Italy or Greece perform well."

Host country South Africa also stands to gain from the tournament.

"Futbol (aka Soccer) is a truly global phenomenon and World Cup 2010 will again put the best national teams and players on display," Credit Suisse said. "And there are many interesting potential subplots fans and investors should pay attention to..."