Nike recently used Facebook to unveil a new 3-minute soccer ad spot that contains some of the world’s biggest soccer stars to help promote their brand going into next month’s FIFA World Cup. The ad premiered on the Nike Football Facebook page and is dubbed Write The Future — it follows the fate of of a few of soccer’s greats and what may or may not happen to them based on pivotal moments on the pitch. According to a recent New York Times post, the ad buy is among the largest in Facebook’s history.
The ad was premiered on the Nike Football page last last week a few days before being debuted in television spots at half time of the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Nike announced early last week that the mini-movie would be available on its Facebook page, apparently causing its fan numbers to double from roughly 550,000 to well over 1.1 million as of today.
While Nike is the primary sponsor for all of the athletes featured in the ad, as well as many of the countries competing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is not an official sponsor of the tournament. By slipping this ad onto Facebook, filling it with some of the most popular names in soccer, sport and pop culture and releasing it on the eve of the FIFA World Cup, the brand is obviously looking to steal some of the recognition associated with the game from Adidas.
Adidas is currently ahead of Nike in worldwide soccer sales and is an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
By including some faces in the spot that are not usually associated with soccer, Nike and ad creator Wieden + Kennedy have also opened up the door for a broader audience outside of the normal soccer circles. Kobe Bryant makes a brief appearance in one of the segments of the ad, so of course it was posted on his fan page on Facebook, which boasts more than 2.4 million followers. Roger Federer also makes an appearance, and while there has been no official post promoting the Nike ad on his wall, a few of his 3.4 million fans have already put it up in the fan video section.
The Write The Future spot also teased an upcoming promotion, which will be run through Facebook and the Nike site, called The Chance. The Chance currently has a Facebook Event page with more than 13,000 confirmed guests and there’s a brief video on the Nike Football page. From the little that’s been revealed, it appears as if The Chance will give undiscovered players a shot at landing on a major team. More will be revealed through Facebook and NikeFootball.com on June 10th.