Over the years, Nike have undoubtedly been the best proponents of Guerrilla Marketing when it comes to ambushing major sporting sponsorships.
Rarely does Nike sponsor a major event such as the Olympics or the World Cup, instead finding ways for their brand to be even more prominent than the sponsoring sportswear brand, such as Reebok or Adidas.
For example, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics Nike sponsored press conferences with the US basketball team despite Reebok being the games’ official sponsor. Then Nike’s man Michael Jordan, accepted the gold medal for basketball and covered up the Reebok logo on his kit (via BrandChannel).
Then at the recent 2008 Beijing Olympics, despite Adidas being the major sponsor, Nike went ahead and sponsored the Chinese teams in 22 of 28 Olympic sports, so that if they won, the swoosh logo would be the one that was remembered (and photographed).
Now it seems that Nike are up to their old tricks, this time in Argentina.
Again, despite Adidas being the official partner of the FIFA 2010 World Cup, Nike have launched a World Cup themed campaign designed to provoke the passionate Argentine supporters.
The two execution outdoor campaign firstly features a a bold ‘1986’ crossed out with a Nike swoosh logo in the corner.
For those outside the football world this would probably be baffling, but every single Argentine knows that 1986 was the year that Argentina won the World Cup final, after Diego Maradona scoring a goal with his hand in the quarter final against England, famously known as ‘The Hand of God’.
Maradona himself has even admitted that he did it intentionally.
Now if the first execution is designed to provoke negative emotions, the second execution provides an out. This time 2010 is written in bold font with ‘ESCRIBAMOS HISTORIA’ written through the middle, that roughly translates in English to ‘LET’S REWRITE HISTORY’.
I have to say that I love this campaign!
It speaks directly to an entire nation and I have no doubts that it will be remembered.
I have yet to see any World Cup related advertising by Adidas, so based on this I am going to give the first half to Nike 1 – 0.
Adidas, it’s your move.
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