Bringing sports fans closer to brands through nanotechnology

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We all heard of Pepsi’s Blue Billion effort in 2006. While the idea behind it was commendable (understandable?) – an association with cricket which later turned into a community portal.  I am not sure if it was a gooseflesh of an idea. The performance of our cricket team added to the problem and the whole effort did not generate the kind of buzz it could have. Here is something that could.

Earlier this year, Adidias launched a promotion in New Zealand (which is obsessed with Rugby as we are with Cricket) where the legendary All Blacks team evokes passion and fuels the national spirit. The idea: the names of thousands of All Blacks rugby fans’ literally engraved onto a thread that will form part of an All Blacks jersey.

Fans can submit their name, which will be etched via nanotechnology onto something called the Adithread, (read more about the technology here) as well as sharing their ‘This is Not a Jersey’ mantra via the website. The site intro stirs up all the feelings of belonging to a tribe and supporting a team, and the significance of wearing your country’s colours with emotive statements such as ‘this is not a uniform, but a country unified’ and ‘this is not a souvenir, this is a reminder of all who have worn it before us’.

Cute little sidelights: if your baby was born on the day of a 2008 home test match of All Blacks, your baby gets a jersey too!


Later this month, All Blacks’ Richie McCaw will be presented with jerseys that have the names of 100,000 fans engraved onto a single thread used to make the jerseys. Wow! Isn’t the symbolism of this idea great! ‘What binds us together’, ‘carrying your fans’ wishes with you’ could all be attributed as symbolic of the promo idea. And it takes user generated content to another level. Awesome work.

Agency: TBWA/WHYBIN, New Zealand

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