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), came together in London to announce a partnership between NIKE and (RED).
This unique partnership delivers a two-pronged approach to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa by delivering funds to support programs that offer education and medication on the ground and will harness the power of sport to engage youth around the world in the fight against AIDS in Africa.
In making the partnership announcement, Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc., Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED) and Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS , Tuberculosis and Malaria were joined by footballers from around the world and U2 vocalist and (RED) co-founder Bono, to emphasize the need for global action and participation to eliminate AIDS in Africa.
“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 has a proven history of elevating global causes to create consumer awareness and participation. “As a global brand and creative company, Nike can play a role in amplifying this important issue,” said Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “With football as the catalyst, Nike is joining the (RED) movement to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.”
The Nike and (RED) concept is a simple one that invites people to “Lace Up. Save Lives” by purchasing a pair of NIKE (PRODUCT)RED™ laces. One hundred percent of the profits from (NIKE)RED laces will be split equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which funds AIDS programs that provide medicine for those living with HIV, and football-based community initiatives that deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention. This unique partnership delivers programs that both medicate and educate.
Progress has been made in the drive to reduce HIV infections in Africa, with fourteen countries reporting a decline in the prevalence of the disease. This is great news and proves the fight can be won. But AIDS remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. An estimated 3,800 men, women and children die in sub-Saharan Africa every day, in addition to 6,000 new infections every day among 15-24 year old men and women.
“The (RED) Nike laces can tie athletes around the world together with people living under threat from HIV in Africa in a beautiful way ,” said Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “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.”
“(RED) has created a sustainable way to engage business in funding the fight against AIDS in Africa on a grand scale. Its partnerships not only deliver funds to buy medicine to keep people alive but also provides the leverage needed for us to demonstrate to the public sector that this partnership works and to garner additional support,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of Ethiopia and Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Global Fund. “The addition of Nike to the (RED) initiative will only strengthen this impact as it will help us take this message to millions of football fans around the world and engage them in this issue through their passion for sport.”
(Nike)RED laces will be available December 1st at Nike Store locations and key retailers worldwide. In addition, (Nike)RED laces will be available at nike.com for purchase. And additional (NIKE) RED products will be introduced in the coming months.