As the most high-profile Women’s World Cup to date rolls into its second week in Australia and New Zealand, brands are stepping up their game to flex their involvement in the burgeoning sport.Interest and viewership in the sport has soared in recent years thanks to unprecedented investment from sporting federations, commercial partners and broadcasters. A record 1.5 million tickets have been sold for the ongoing tournament so far, up from one million in 2019, while host nation Australia’s opening game on July 20 drew a record-breaking crowd of over 75,000 in Sydney.For brands, the potential to get in front of these viewers is exponential. Nike and Adidas are neck-and-neck on their respective grasp on the tournament, while smaller brands too have had the opportunity to cash in on the sporting occasion.On Wednesday night, a packed crowd gathered in London’s Dover Street Market to celebrate — and get their hands on — Nike and cult luxury designer Martine Rose’s latest collaboration, a sleek unisex tailoring and sneaker capsule made for the US national women’s football team. The accompanying campaign features several high-profile footballers including England captain Leah Williamson and American all-time great Megan Rapinoe, playing in her last tournament before retirement.Nike rival Adidas has leveraged its relationships in football for several big marketing wins in recent months. It tapped long-term collaborator Wales Bonner to design the match kits and accompanying casualwear for the Reggae Girlz, the Jamaican women’s national football team.Most notably, as the sponsor of Major League Soccer, America’s top football competition, Adidas was instrumental in securing Lionel Messi’s unprecedented transfer to Inter Miami CF, the franchise co-owned by David Beckham. As part of the unique financial package, Adidas will pay Messi — widely considered to be the greatest footballer of all time — a share of the profits it generates from his involvement in the MLS, a deal unprecedented in football. For the brand, it represents a major marketing win to have Lionel Messi, an Adidas-sponsored athlete, playing the final years of his career in the MLS, an Adidas-sponsored competition.The Women’s World Cup will crown a winner after the final on Aug. 20. While Adidas is a key sponsor of tournament organising body FIFA, providing the match balls and referees outfits, the brand lags behind Nike in terms of individual team sponsorships, partnering with 10 teams compared to Nike’s 13. Both brands will be watching the tournament’s latter stages intently, as a win in the final for one of their partner national teams will result in a significant marketing and sales boost through jersey and merch sales.Nike, for example, quickly sold out of white sport bras carrying the swoosh logo last August after England player Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal in the European Championship final in London and celebrated by waving her jersey above her head in a now iconic image.What Else to Watch for This WeekTuesdayVF Corp. resultsEurozone unemployment data releaseWednesdayRevolve resultsThursdayZalando resultsAdidas resultsUK Bank of England interest rate announcementFridayUS unemployment data releaseThe Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to email@example.com.