Soccer-Costa Rica kitmaker Lotto thrives on World Cup upset

By Stephen Eisenhammer RIO DE JANEIRO, July 1 (Reuters) – Costa Rica have been a World Cup revelation, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time and their success has proved an unexpected bonus for Lotto Sport Italia. The private sportswear firm has seen sales of Costa Rica shirts rise 20-fold as the Ticos qualified top of Group D, ahead of three former champions, and then beat Greece on penalties to make the last eight. It is a rare triumph for a smaller kitmaker, the likes of which have been increasingly squeezed out of the World Cup with major brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma paying millions to hog the stage at the world’s most watched sporting event. Lotto is struggling to keep up with demand and says an extra 50,000 shirts have been sold since Costa Rica won their opening game against Uruguay.