Nike Builds On-line Community

Seattle, As a part of its World Cup strategy, footwear giant Nike set up a Web site where soccer fans continue to network beyond the tournament, according to Business Week. The centerpiece is Joga.com, a social networking site for soccer fans launched in February with Google. Members in 140 countries can blog, create fan communities around their favorite teams or players, organize pickup games, download videos and rant against the encroaching commercialism of the game. The marketing effort has gained consumers’ attention beyond top-down mass messages, the publication said.

The publication said that Nike was forced to be innovative after rival Adidas got a World Cup exclusive deal to broadcast ads in the United States. But by monitoring conversations on social networking sites and blogs, where people are shaping Nike's brand, the sneaker giant knew this was an opportunity to try something different.

The Joga.com site is just one piece of a $100 million multilayered campaign known as Joga Bonito, which translates into “play beautiful” in Portuguese. Business Week noted that last fall, Nike started feeding video clips that spotlight Nike-sponsored soccer players onto popular video sharing sites, including YouTube and Google.

The publication also said that Nike reached its World Cup goal of signing up 1 million members by mid-July, when the tournament ended.

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