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Rising Above The Clutter On The World Stage

June 24th, 2010

Sporting events are one of the largest branding opportunities around.  There is not a more popular sport in the world outside of soccer – it’s truly a global game with an unparalleled fan base. The World Cup takes that to a whole new level.  The brand that is leaving the competition in the dust is not even an official Fifa Partner or World Cup Sponsor, but a company that has winning in it’s very DNA – Nike.  Their campaign, Write The Future, is a prime example of ‘ambush marketing’.  Not an official sponsor, Nike turned to the web for initial distribution of their 3 minute, highly produced spot featuring some of the best ‘Footballers’ in the world.  Greeted with overwhelming praise, this long form advertisement has been deemed by Trevor Edwards (Vice President, Global Brand & Category Management) as “one of the best we’ve ever done.” (courtesy, OregonLive).  The traffic would agree, with the spot having just surpassed 15M views in only two short weeks.  Even Nike CEO, Mark Parker, gave high praise to the campaign:

Our ‘Write the Future’ football campaign is the most complete, innovative and creative project we’ve ever done, and we’ve got more excitement on the ground than anybody else in the game.” (courtesy, MediaPost)

No doubt that Landon Donovan helped extend the fictional narrative into a literal embodiment of the ad with yesterday’s heroic goal in the 91st minute sending the U.S.A. into the knockout round in this year’s Cup.

The campaign goes far beyond the initial video.  As you can see from the graphic above, Nike has invited the fans into the experience – giving them the opportunity to ‘Write The Future’ through social means with the chance to have their headline displayed on one of Johannesburg’s largest skyscrapers (100 will be displayed each night).  What I love about this is that it empowers the fan to be an active part of the campaign and involves them in a meaningful way (very similar to the way we {Intel} included everyday people in our Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign last year).  This is the human face of advertising.  People naturally want to be included in the celebration.  They want to be heard, and they want a participatory voice in their favorite events and with brands they are passionate about.  Hat tip Nike – you’ve created an amazing campaign and you’ve invited your biggest advocates, your customers, to help Write The Future.

Social Media, Sponsorship, Sports ,

  1. June 25th, 2010 at 08:42 | #1

    6.25 Update – Apparently I was a step ahead of Fast Company. They just posted a similar article here (http://www.fastcompany.com/1663632/world-cup-2010-get-published-on-a-skyscraper)

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