Monday 30th November 2009 marked the start of Nike's partnership with (Product) RED, with a glamourous launch at NikeTown in London and now on World Aids Day we can share with you the full details behind the cause and partnership. The SoccerBible was invited as one of the selected VIP attendees yesterday's launch event, where we learnt about the full details of Nike's involvement and some exciting (RED) products to come...
The World's media descended on NikeTown in London's Oxford Circus for this launch event. Thanks to our special Nike invite, our backstage passes got us into the heart of the store, which became a hub of activity with the arrival of some truly global superstars:
Joining Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc., Susan Smith Ellis, CEO,
(RED) and Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine Executive Director of the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS , Tuberculosis and Malaria were U2 vocalist and (RED) co-founder
Bono and Chelsea's Didier Drogba.
Also on hand to pledge their support to the cause were Drogba's Chelsea teammate Joe Cole, Lucas Neill of Everton, Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin and Denilson,
Fulham's Clint Dempsey and Seol Ki-Heyon and a special appearance from Inter Milan's Marco Materazzi - all sporting a limited edition (RED) Eugene Track Jacket as well as their red-laced boots of choice.
We're sure as football boots fans many of you will have already spotted Didier Drogba leading the cause during Sunday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea. Sporting one of the limited products - the special Nike (RED) laces - Drogba is one of many icons working hard outside of the game to help with causes and charities across the globe - infact you may have seen recently that Didier gave up a £3million GBP fee from Pepsi to dedicate to building hospital and improving conditions in his home country, Cote d'Ivorie (Ivory Coast). Check out this interview with the man himself from Sky Sports as he discusses the red laces!
So what is the Nike and (RED) concept all about? Simple - you are invited to join the cause and show your support by purchasing a pair of Nike (RED) laces, as seen above on Drogba's Nike Superfly boots - simply “Lace
Up. Save Lives”. Nike have commited 100% of the profits from Nike (RED) laces which will be split
equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria, which funds AIDS programs 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.
“As a global brand and creative company,
Nike can play a role in amplifying this important issue,” said Mark
Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “With football as the catalyst,
Nike is joining the (RED) movement to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.”
For those of you who may not be aware, (Product) RED was created by Bobby Shriver and U2 frontman Bono to engage businesses and corporations in the fight against AIDS in Africa. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was
established in 2002 with the support of then UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan and the world's leaders, to dramatically increase resources to
fight three of the world's most devastating diseases. Since its
creation, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs
to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with US$15 billion for programs in 140
This is just one of many things happening around the globe for World AIDS Day today. Many cities will go (RED) and millions of supporters, partners, products,
thousands of stores, websites and iconic landmarks around the world will turn (RED) in support of the cause. When Bono and Bobby
Shriver founded (RED), their intent was to bring the power of
consumers, business and corporations together to
eliminate AIDS in Africa. In that spirit, leaders from cities and companies
are helping to bring awareness to the AIDS pandemic by turning (RED) on World AIDS Day.
Through out the ground floor of the impressive NikeTown were a raft of NikeID Talaria boots (above), all customised to reflect the (RED) theme and sporting the Nike laces that you will be able to buy and wear as of today, 1st December. You can get them at Nike Store locations
and key retailers worldwide. Don't worry if you haven't got a Nike store near you, as Nike (RED) laces will be
available at nikefootball.com/red for purchase.
“The (RED) Nike laces can tie athletes around the world together with
people living under threat from HIV in Africa in a beautiful way”
said Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global
Fund. “Wearing these (RED) laces is a sign that you care about others –
and it helps us to protect and treat millions of people who every day
risk infection or struggle with the effects of HIV.”
Want to find out more about (RED) and the Global Fund? Click here to go the the (Product) RED website.
Be sure to stay tuned to the SoccerBible as additional (NIKE) RED products will be introduced in the coming months...
You can do two things to help improve the lives of people affected by AIDS in Africa:
1. Buy your (NIKE)RED laces.
2. Help spread the (RED)™ story.
You can help spread the story with the (NIKE)RED widget above, which automatically pulls in all the latest (NIKE)RED related activity, keeping you up to date. You can also add the widget to your profile on sites like Facebook, Bebo, MySpace or you can share it by email and get your friends involved too. Information and awareness are two of the key weapons in the fight against AIDS. So the more people you share the story with, the more people become involved.