Nike exploits Winter Olympics interest with ‘Play Russian’ campaign
Non-Olympic sponsor Nike is making a strategic move to be associated with next year’s Winter Olympics with the launch of a campaign it claims will build “momentum” around Russia’s “Winter of Sport”.
The “Play Russian” advert, created by Wieden + Kennedy, features Olympic hopefuls and Russian athletes figure skater Adelina Sotnikova and ice Hockey player Alexander Ovechkin showcasing how they use country’s harsh winter conditions pushes them to new limits. The video also stars long jumper Darya Klishina, footballer Alexander Kokorin, snowboarder Denis Leontyev and skateboarder Egor Kaldikov, who will also front promotions via the campaign’s digital hub.
Fans can upload their sporting moments to the site along with use the #playrussian hashtag across social networks.
It is the sports brand’s first winter campaign for the Russian market and comes just two months ahead of the start of the 2014 Games in Sochi next February.
Nike is a past master of associating with events it does not sponsor. For example, it strenghtned its ties to last year’s Olympic Games with its “London” campaign, despite rival Adidas being its official partner.
Massimo Giunco, Nike Russia brand marketing director, says: “Sport can be enjoyed in all elements, and the Russian winter is no exception. In this new campaign, we’re challenging young athletes to show us that they can embrace winter as their playground. We already know they are fearless, but we want to see how they can defy normal and Play Russian. This is their moment to show the world that they can Just Do It like only Russians can.”