The cause-related strand of Nike’s World Cup work kicked off with its pre-competition ‘Lace Up, Save Lives’ campaign.
The scheme, fronted by Didier Drogba and developed in partnership with charity RED, urged fans to don red laces on their boots or trainers with all proceeds from sales going towards Aids awareness in Africa.
The partnership delivers a two-pronged approach to fight HIV / AIDS in Africa by delivering funds to support programmes that offer education and medication on the ground and will harness the power of sport to engage youth around the world in the fight against AIDS in Africa.
The Nike and RED concept is a simple one that invites people to ‘Lace Up. Save Lives by purchasing a pair of Nike red laces.
One hundred percent of the profits from will be split equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which funds AIDS programmes that provide medicine for those living with HIV, and football-based community initiatives that deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention. This unique partnership delivers programs that both medicate and educate.
Running across multiple platforms, from outdoor, press, digital, experiential and in-store, it launched on the day before World Aids Day, Nike lined up a stellar cast of stars to back the campaign. In addition to Drogba, the London launch was led by Joe Cole, Andrei Arshavin, Marco Materazzi, Denilson, Lucas Neill, Clint Dempsey and Seol Ki-Hyeon. In other markets major Nike ambassadors such as Maria Sharapova and Kobe Bryant also played a part.
The World Cup in South Africa provided an ideal platform to highlight the scale of the AIDs challenge on the continent. Choosing Drogba, a multiple winner of the African Footballer Of The Year Award to spearhead the initiative was a clever move.
AIDS remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. An estimated 3,800 men, women and children die in sub-Saharan Africa every day, in addition to 6,000 new infections every day among 15-24 year old men and women.