Nike Brings Soccer Fever To U.S.

With the World Cup kicking off this month in France, Wieden & Kennedy’s new print ads for Nike, developed by a multicultural agency-client team, aim to give the U.S. a taste of the kind of soccer devotion practiced the world over.
Part of Wieden’s task is to translate the world’s game for American audiences. Created by Wieden’s Amsterdam office, with help from its Portland, Ore., headquarters, the global ads broke in the U.S. last weekend, said Nike officials. The ads were placed last month in soccer magazines in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In the U.S., the five ads will run primarily as billboards, murals and in-store posters, said Nike divisional ad manager Pierre-Laurent Baudey, who is French. Initially, the work is appearing in large West Coast cities and will roll out across the country this month.
The estimated $8-10 million print campaign–part of a $35-40 million push–was handled by creative directors Jon Matthews, who is English, and Robert Nakata, who is Spanish.
The ads use a postal theme showing stamps with the images of top Brazilian players. “Postage crosses national borders as does this most international of sports,” said Baudey.
Postal phrases are also used in the ads with dual meanings relating to soccer. For instance, one ad featuring superstar Ronaldo and the Mercurial Nike soccer shoe uses the headline: “Exceeds the highest declared value.”
The ads follow a global TV spot that broke last month. A second spot, breaking June 10, will have a massive push in the U.S.