CAMPAIGNS: Brazil goes nuts for Nike kit deal - Sponsorship

Last year global sportswear group Nike signed what is believed to be the biggest ever sports sponsorship deal with the Brazilian football team, the current World Cup holders. Nike is said to have bought out Umbro from its existing contract with the team, replacing it with a dollars 400 million deal over ten years.

Last year global sportswear group Nike signed what is believed to

be the biggest ever sports sponsorship deal with the Brazilian football

team, the current World Cup holders. Nike is said to have bought out

Umbro from its existing contract with the team, replacing it with a

dollars 400 million deal over ten years.



Brazil joins the Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Nigerian and the US

national sides, as well as the UK Premiership’s Arsenal, in a growing

portfolio of football kit sponsorships.



Under the sponsorship agreement, Nike will manufacture and supply

sportswear for the Brazilian team. It also retains the right to host

five friendly games per season involving Brazil in Europe, Asia and the

Americas. Nike will gain the benefit of further exposure via billboards,

merchandise and accompanying literature.



Objectives



To raise the profile of the Nike brand through its links with Brazilian

football - ’the beautiful game’ - and help make Nike the dominant brand

in football .



Tactics



To mark the agreement, Nike’s in-house staff from offices in the US, UK,

the Netherlands and Brazil pooled their resources to arrange an

international press launch on Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro,

Brazil on 5 December 1996.



The new Nike kit was introduced and there was a live satellite link-up

with Brazilian football team stars Ronaldo and Giovanni. The vice

president of Nike and the Brazilian football coach were also present at

the venue along with 20 of the company’s in-house staff from its offices

worldwide.



The launch included the company’s proposals on its strategy to ally Nike

with the theme of football.



Nike flew in journalists from around the world, and a select group were

also taken to the Brazilian training camp to watch the under-21

team.



In addition, the news was distributed through the usual news channels

and wires.



Results



Between 150 and 200 international journalists attended the Rio

launch.



Perhaps unsurprisingly, as more than 90 native journalists attended, the

story truly hit the headlines in Brazil.



In the US, where the negotiations for the sponsorship deal were carried

out, both the print and broadcast media gave a detailed review, with the

New York Times and USA Today both devoting half a page to the story.



UK journalists from the Sun, the Express and a number of sports

magazines were taken out to Rio by Nike’s UK PR department. The story

was also covered by the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Daily

Mail. The BBC ran a mention on its lunch time news programme.



Verdict



As for the overall sponsorship, the success of the deal cannot truly

measured until Brazil’s first ’Nike game’ in the spring. However as

Richard Rivlin, City correspondent on the Daily Telegraph and an expert

on retail, points out: ’Next time the world champion team celebrates it

will be in a Nike kit.’



Spokesperson for Nike, Europe, Tim Wolly is confident that this, and

other sports sponsorships will enable the company to target armchair

fans as well as dedicated match-goers and existing Nike customers.



Launch-wise the event evidently hit the spot, with an impressive media

attendance and adequate, widespread coverage. Nike pulled out the stops

and achieved that difficult task of international PR co-ordination with

apparent ease and panache.



Client: Nike

PR Team: Global in-house PR staff

Campaign: The launch of Nike’s sponsorship deal with the Brazilian

football team

Time scale: December 1996

Budget: Estimated dollars 400 million for whole sponsorship programme.



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