Competition: Global Game

Nike and Adidas are using the planet's grandest gathering, the WORLD CUP, to kick sales--and each other. Inside the fiercest rivalry in business

No way. No expletive-of-choice way. Those are the only possible human reactions to viewing Ping Pong, the underground Nike soccer ad that has dribbled around the Web faster than Pelé in his prime. In the spot, Ronaldinho, a Brazilian considered the world's best soccer player, laces up his new Nike cleats, the Swoosh as golden as his game, and then, from the top of the 18-yd. box, fires a soccer ball off the 4-in. crossbar. Before the ball touches the ground, he corrals the rebound on his chest, juggles the ball with his feet and repeats the feat three more times....

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