On the eve of the 2002 Football (soccer) World Cup in Asia, Nike launched an audacious multi-channel campaign based around 24 revered footballers. They were secretly participating in Scorpion KO - a series of 3 v 3 matches held inside a metal cage deep within the bowels of a giant container ship, which presumably was coasting around in international waters.
The rules were simple - 3 minutes games, 3 players on each side, 1st goal wins! A series of ads and online platforms were launched to build a suspenseful commentary of the games, adding humour and charisma to a heady mix of brilliant shots of great players showing off their wizardry with the round ball.
Nike added to the campaign by launching cage football matches in major cities around the world which encouraged young football fans to experience first hand the raw magic of their secret tournament formula.
The results were spectacular for Nike and the campaign has since become part of many Marketing 101 folklore. It reinforced Nike's mission of building their brand through innovative and youthful platforms.
Now a crowd funding proposal on Go Get Funding has been launched by an Australian non profit to Bring Cage Football to Life in 2013 http://gogetfunding.com/
The idea is hold a real cage football match with a new crop of football superstars (as well as a couple of the magicians from the old campaign). Fans that want to see this happen can contribute as little as US$1 to help grow this event, which is planned to be staged in London. Different contribution amounts will receive different rewards. For example for a premium donations of USD$5000, the donor will be guaranteed a ticket to the event and opportunity to meet and mingle with all the football stars.
Super cool idea...but one wonders what Nike will think of it? Hopefully they see that it will only benefit their brand. Profits are going to charity anyway so I can't imagine Nike will bring out its army of lawyers to rain on this event!