Nike has launched its first World Cup campaign, featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. & Wayne Rooney.
A great video is partnered by a website that enables individuals to register at Nike and customise their links to their city, for local events. This campaign encourages soccer players worldwide to share their own personal soccer highlights.
Nike and Adidas are in pretty much a pitched battle for brand and market recognition. We've previously noted their respective teams links. The Nike video carries a variation on the same pressure-cooker theme they’ve adopted before. This time the message is: "Risk everything." The ad had more than 2.2 million views in the first 24 hours it was posted to Youtube.
The 60-second spot shows Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil's Neymar and England's Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense pressure to perform well. In each case, the player is seen grappling with the idea of not measuring up. Who else but Ronaldo can carry Portugal? Can Rooney finally score a World Cup goal for England? Is Neymar worthy of Brazil's fabled No. 10 shirt?
"The expectations—from a nation's hopes to the historic power of a shirt—are massive, but these are players who thrive on that responsibility," says Davide Grasso, Nike's chief marketing officer. "These players play on the edge because they know great moments usually spring from attempts to try something out of the ordinary. Think about Zlatan's overhead kick last year, or Rooney's goal last weekend. Those moments do not occur without fearless risk-taking."
Adidas and Nike dominate the soccer gear industry which is worth more than $5 billion annually. With these top two brands sharing over 80% of the market for many football products, they fight particularly for the title of market leader in the supply of soccer shoes and jerseys to fans inspired by stars from all over the world. Adidas regards soccer "as its territory and wants to avoid being overtaken by younger but larger American rival Nike, as has happened in other sports" according to Reuters.