Nike Just Did It – Indians are bleeding Blue

Nike’s “Bleed Blue” campaign has hit the nail on the head. Bulls Eye! On the Target! Call what you may, Nike has just done it!

Nike is always known as the brand for the sports oriented audience, since they have sponsored top players from Soccer, Basketball, Lawn Tennis etc. It’s no secret that India is an emerging market for top brands, apparels and sports footwear. People in India are getting more inclined towards Quality. Luxury market in India is on the rise. If Nike had to (re)enter the Indian market with a statement, what better way than to associate themselves with the sport that binds an entire nation. Cricket.

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Nike had a 7 year license agreement with Sierra Industrial Enterprises which ended in the year 2004. Instead of renewing the agreement, Nike launched Nike India as its subsidiary. That’s when, they believe, they actually entered the Indian market. Nike’s association with Indian cricket started in 2005 when they bought the kit rights from BCCI for around $ 27.2 million. In their esteemed and fruitful relationship with BCCI and Team India, the only blip was the 2007 World Cup debacle, where India lost out in the first round itself. Team India then went on to win the inaugural World T20 championship in 2007, haven’t lost a single test series – home or away, are numero uno in Test cricket. India winning the 2011 edition of the ICC World Cup was just what the doctor ordered for brand Nike in India.

Indian cricket fans – that also includes Nike’s target audience (youth) – are living the best phase of their life. And Nike indirectly has become a part of this phase. Talk of positive Brand Association. Nike believes that the Bleed Blue initiative will be a unique nationwide campaign that aims to fuel the passion of the Indian cricket fan and encourages him to express solidarity to the Indian Cricket Team. This campaign is set to change the game for Nike in the sports footwear and apparel market. The campaign had initiatives like the Bleed Blue Pledge, where top Indian cricketers pledged their commitment to the game through their fearless attitude, passion and pride in representing the country. The campaign also involved fans / participants to add a badge on their facebook profile picture and it was at its peak during the finals. Millions of facebook users either added the badge, or saw their friends add the badge – Viral Marketing through social media. They also had a website (nikecricket.in) where participants were allowed to create their own digital hand-prints. Apart from Social Media, promotion was also done through TV, Outdoor, Print with creative adverts.

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This is what Lintas Media (who made this campaign) had to say:

“One billion hearts are synchronized at the same level. Cricket is a religion in India. One of the biggest emerging markets in the world has lost 75% of its productivity during the matches — this is not just a cricket match, it is nearly a war.”

Adidas can ‘bring it on’ (their new campaign) and can claim that impossible is nothing. Reebok can be what they are (I am what I am campaign). But Nike is already bleeding blue by the billions.

You will love reading: Branding a country.  Must read article Rural Marketing

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Nike Just Did It – Indians are bleeding Blue

by Binu Thomas time to read: 3 min
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