SBD/April 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Uses Star Power in New FIFA World Cup Campaign As Soccer Sales Reach $2B

Nike's launch spot for its "Risk Everything" campaign around this summer's FIFA World Cup was "somber and serious," but with part two released last Friday, Nike "gets its sense of humor back," according to Tim Nudd of ADWEEK. The new four-minute film, titled "Winner Stays," from Wieden + Kennedy and director Ringan Ledwidge, is "vintage" Nike. The ad features "stunning action shots expertly offset by comic relief, all woven into a mini-narrative whose momentum builds to a quietly explosive set piece." Portugal MF Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil F Neymar and England F Wayne Rooney get "top billing," but U.S. G Tim Howard "gets a major cameo." Lakers G Kobe Bryant, UFC fighters Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, model Irina Shayk and the Incredible Hulk "make memorable appearances." It adds up to a "freewheeling, joyful spot that manages the rare trick of making some of the world's most elite athletes seem both completely rarefied and yet eminently approachable" (ADWEEK.com, 4/25). In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote Nike, adidas and -- to a lesser extent -- Puma are "waging a pre-tournament marketing battle for soccer supremacy." The World Cup has "become an opportunity every four years for the brands to seek significant movement in their market share." adidas, an official World Cup sponsor, said that they "expect their soccer revenue to reach" $2.8B this year. Meanwhile Nike, a "company whose soccer revenues barely registered 20 years ago, recorded about" $2B in soccer sales in its last fiscal year (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/26).

MARK MY WORDS
: Nike CEO Mark Parker spoke to CNBC on Friday from Madrid, where the company was launching its "complete line" of soccer products. Parker: "We're seeing our (soccer) category continue to grow. We are the No. 1 (soccer) company in the world. … We feel that with the innovation that we're introducing around this World Cup that that's only going to get stronger and stronger." Parker noted Nike will have “more teams than anyone” in Brazil this summer, and "there is a price attached to that." He declined to put a dollar figure on the investment, but said, "It's significant." Parker also addressed reports that Nike will shutter its wearable-hardware efforts. He said there has been "a lot of speculation" about the possibility of Nike and Apple bringing to market a collaborative device, but he would neither confirm nor deny that notion. Parker said Nike is "focusing more on the software side of the experience." Parker: “I think we will be part of wearables going forward. It will be integrated into other products that we create and then we'll look at expanding our partnerships to create more reach for the Nike Fuel and Fuel System that we have. It's really about actually expanding the reach of Nike Fuel and the best way to do that, we think, is through the best partnerships that we can find" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 4/25).
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