Nike has officially announced their new partnership with (RED) in an effort to fight AIDS in Africa. Nike President and CEO, Mark Parker, and (RED) CEO Susan Smith Ellis were joined by Nike sponsored soccer players from around the world to launch the new joint effort. U2 singer and (RED) co-founder Bono was also in attendance to stress the need for immediate action in the battle against AIDS.
The new effort will attack AIDS both by supplying funds for treatment and education in Africa, as well as by harnessing the power of sport and recognition of the Nike brand to bring needed attention to the problem.
“The fight against AIDS in Africa needs great brands to drive awareness and engagement,” said Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED). “Nike is the right partner to connect education with sport, and in so doing help drive social change, prevention and understanding of HIV/AIDS. We are thrilled to have them with us.”
Nike’s “Lace Up. Save Lives.” campaign begin with Nike selling (PRODUCT) RED laces. All profits from the laces which will be sold at Nike.com, Nike stores and other retailers, will be split equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other soccer-based community initiatives to spread education and understanding of HIV/AIDS prevention.
Nike President and CEO, Mark Parker, believes Nike’s global visibility can help highlight the issue across the world. “As a global brand and creative company, Nike can play a role in amplifying this important issue,” said Parker. “With football as the catalyst, Nike is joining the (RED) movement to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.”
Several well known professional players from around the globe will be wearing (Nike) RED laces during upcoming games including: Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Denilson (Arsenal), Lucas Neill (Everton), Clint Dempsey (Fulham) and Seol Ki-Hyeon (Fulham).
“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,” says Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
These (Nike) RED laces will be available at Soccer Fanatic February 1st, along with other (RED) products being introduced in the near future.