This is one match that marks a goalpost both in Indian football and in sports marketing. Nike India has rolled out a talent search and a football event combined into one promo, and given it a Web spin.
Agency: JWT India
The Campaign: Where’s the Next football event
The global sports goods giant has kick-started its new football website, www.nikefootball.in, with a talent hunt. Exclusively for football aficionados in India, the Where’s the Next football campaign seeks to find one of the best young footballers in the country and give him/her the opportunity to play at a global level.
“This initiative is to reiterate Nike’s commitment to the sport especially at the grassroots level,” said a company spokesperson.
How it works
Between 15 and 31 July, participants are required to post a one-minute video displaying their best football skills on the website along with their name and personal details. From the entries, 10 players will be shortlisted.
These top 10 footballers will then gather in New Delhi for the final round. The captain of the national football team Baichung Bhutia will select one of the aspirants, who will join the winning 11 from Asia. This team will play against the FC Barcelona youth team, besides getting an opportunity to watch the FC Barcelona team, one of the most popular football clubs, in action.
What’s the goal
Through this campaign, Nike plans to strengthen its presence in India. Identified closely with football the world over, the brand is seeking to break new ground in India.
The fact that it is a Web-driven campaign underlines its youth focus. “We are targeting teenagers between 15 and 17 years of age, who are passionate about the sport and will use this opportunity to the fullest,” said the spokesperson.
What’s the idea
Since it set up shop in India in 2004, Nike has signed up with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the All India Football Federation as the official sponsor for all tournaments at the national and local levels.
The Where’s the Next campaign takes the brand’s engagement with Indian football a level deeper. “Nike sees this as an opportunity to feed the passion for football and to provide a premium experience for some of the most talented football-obsessed teens in the country,” says Sanjay Gangopadhyay, marketing director, Nike India.
According to Dhunji S. Wadia, managing partner, JWT, the advertising agency that handles the account for Nike India, “Nike’s relation with football is much larger than any other game or sport. Some of the topmost footballers in the world are associated with Nike. It believes in ‘serving the athlete’.”