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The Strange Case of Nike's 'Write The Future' Campaign​

The Strange Case of Nike's 'Write The Future' Campaign

In the world of sports marketing, competition goes beyond the field. Brands strive to outshine each other by employing various strategies to gain visibility and build brand value. Ambush marketing is one such tactic that has been used by companies to indirectly associate themselves with major sporting events. In this blog post, we will delve into the realm of ambush marketing, focusing on Nike’s notable ‘Write the Future’ campaign during the FIFA World Cup in 2010. We will examine the impact of this campaign, compare Nike and Adidas’ marketing strategies during the tournament, and analyze the importance of brand sponsorship in the world of sports.

Section 1: Ambushed Yet Again!

Ambush marketing refers to a marketing strategy where a brand cleverly associates itself with an event, often without being an official sponsor. By capitalizing on the event’s popularity, these brands aim to gain exposure and divert attention from the official sponsors. Nike, known for its innovative marketing tactics, has successfully employed ambush marketing on multiple occasions, including during the FIFA World Cups.

Section 2: Adidas - The Official Sponsor

Adidas, a sportswear giant, has been a long-standing official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. With exclusive rights and a significant investment, Adidas enjoyed the benefits of being associated with the prestigious tournament. However, Nike saw an opportunity to challenge Adidas’ dominance in the market and devised a plan to grab attention during the 2010 World Cup.

Section 3: Nike's Stint With The World Cup

Nike, not an official sponsor of the tournament, had to find alternative ways to make an impact. They utilized ambush marketing strategies, leveraging popular players and teams to create brand value and visibility. By strategically releasing captivating advertisements and campaigns, Nike aimed to steal the spotlight from Adidas and establish its presence in the football world.

Section 4: 'Write the Future' Campaign in 2010

One of Nike’s most memorable ambush marketing campaigns was the ‘Write the Future’ campaign during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This campaign featured star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in a series of captivating commercials that envisioned their future success or failure based on their performances in the tournament. The campaign generated massive buzz and became a talking point among fans and media alike.

Section 5: Other Initiatives

Apart from the ‘Write the Future’ campaign, Nike implemented various other initiatives to amplify its presence during the World Cup. These included creative social media campaigns, interactive fan experiences, and collaborations with influential football personalities. All these efforts contributed to Nike’s successful ambush marketing strategy.

Section 6: Results - Official Sponsor Turning the Table?

Nike’s ambush marketing tactics undoubtedly made a significant impact during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The ‘Write the Future’ campaign generated immense brand recall and elevated Nike’s status in the football realm. While Adidas remained the official sponsor, Nike effectively challenged their dominance and showcased the power of creative marketing strategies. 


The ‘Write the Future’ campaign by Nike exemplifies the potential of ambush marketing to create brand value and challenge established sponsors. Nike’s ability to captivate audiences through innovative advertisements and campaigns demonstrates the importance of strategic marketing in the sports industry. As brand sponsorship continues to evolve, ambush marketing will remain a formidable tool for companies to make their mark on major sporting events. Also get to know about Mercedes-Benz India: Approach to Capturing a Younger Segment case study