Nike decides to extend the celebrated campaign
It started six months ago as an expression of sports brand Nike’s solidarity towards cricket and was supposed to be replaced just after the World Cup. With India winning the Cup and ‘Bleed Blue’ moving beyond just an advertising tagline, Nike India has now decided to continue its celebrated campaign for some more time.
Nike has already launched an impromptu ad film titled ‘United by Blue’ to celebrate Team India’s victory by showcasing the passion of the country. And Sanjay Gangopadhyay, Marketing Director, Nike India, says “It’s quite rare for a corporate campaign to become a part of consumer language. Now the onus is upon us to carry forward the people’s movement of blue. You can expect more such initiatives”.
Gangopadhyay has enough reasons to be on Cloud Nine. While ‘Bleed Blue’ became one of the favourite online searches, the number of followers for the Facebook page by Nike zoomed to 1.1 million. “When we were thinking about a campaign for this World Cup, what came to our mind was the passion with which the fans of English Premier League teams like Manchester United come to stadiums wearing red. We wanted to create a similar wave for blue in India and it worked out well,” he said.
In just six months, the support from fans across India by imprinting their ‘handprint’ for the men in blue has reached a whopping 11.5 million and with over 1 million handprint on the Facebook page. Even cricketers are frenzied about the movement. “I have never seen something like this. I have spoken to some of the team members, even they are using the tagline. I think it is something which should carry forward,” says Deep Dasgupta, a former Indian team member.
Though Nike did not disclose the amount of money spent on the campaign, Gangopadhyay says that the company has spend crores for this movement. “More than the money, it’s the message that we care about.
Already we have the kit sponsorship rights for Team India,” he adds.
Nike, which made an official entry into India in 2004, had bagged the official kit sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket team for a period of five years for nearly Rs 200 crore. From 2006, onwards it is the United States sportswear giant is the sponsor of the team’s uniform, which was renewed last year.
“We got the tagline from the concept ‘blood, sweat and glory’, which every sportsperson in the country follow.
We replaced glory with blue and from there the concept of Bleed Blue took birth.
However, the idea got captured very well and the public accepted this expressionistic way,” says Senthil Kumar, executive creative director, JWT India, who spearheaded the campaign. The 60-second television commercial as part of the campaign was telecast many times during the semifinals and finals, which itself cost the company crores. But the returns in terms of consumer recall of Brand Nike have more than made up for it.