Nike Have Super Mario!

A few months ago I wrote about footballing TV adverts and how companies like Nike and Adidas are struggling to replace the likes of Ronaldo and David Beckham.

People don’t warm to Cristiano Ronaldo, in fact many can’t stand the man. Adidas have the best player in the world with Lionel Messi but he lacks any flaws and I’m not sure kids or teens really identify with him.

Looking for a name I suggested that Neymar may be the one Nike go for but until he makes the move and proves himself in Europe, too many ordinary football fans will not really know too much about him.

Then during the Euros it dawned on me. Nike have the next big thing already on their books and playing in a top European league.

Mario Balotelli proved against Germany in the semi finals that his on field performances are maturing and that he is certainly capable of becoming a world class talent.

Off the field he can be a bit whacky, crazy but at twenty one we always seem to forgive him. We engage with him. He is a player that makes us laugh, shout, he frustrates us and the most important thing, is that he gets everyone talking, even non footballing fans.

He has the look. Athletic build, cheeky smile, diamond earrings and the trademark hairstyle.

His lifestyle of partying, being true to himself and quite frankly the amass of mental news stories that surround his personal life make him the perfect advertising poster boy.

Many can relate to parts of his life story whether it be his immigrant upbringing, being fostered as a child, having serious health issues, suffering from racism or being misunderstood for being different. He attracts so many fans into his life by just being Mario and these followers are from so many different countries, backgrounds, religions and both sexes.

Its quite amazing that so many can see a character like Balotelli and feel at one with him.

He is a bad boy too.

He needs to curb his temper on the park, you can’t kick fellow pros in the head or fight with teammates over a free-kick. Nike won’t be happy if he keeps on getting papped outside strip joints or seeing him on the front pages of newspapers with tales of him bedding prostitutes.

So you’d think someone will say to his agent if he can tone down the crazy just ever so slightly then we can all get rich from this man.

Nike could also make the crazy stories work for them. An advert at Christmas with Mario dressed up as Santa giving out money from a sack but fighting with a child over Nike boots would work. Some sort of collaboration with Noel Gallagher. He is Italian so why not have a computer type advert with him dressed up and meeting the real Super Mario!

Or Something funny with fireworks. Maybe even a battle for Manchester with Mario battling it out with Wayne Rooney for control of a football in the streets of Manchester which could include a cameo from former Nike ad magnet Eric Cantona.

No need to worry about strips as Nike own Umbro who make the Man City tops.

Plus why not make Mario the new Nike ambassador with his own range. Like the ones they have with Michael Jordan, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. See if they can make a footballer sell for them. Tie him down to a long term deal and have ‘Super Mario’ clothing and his own range of boots.

Obviously Nike will have more money and smarter PR and Marketing brains than me but those ideas just took me seconds and would work. Think how much better the ads could be with money thrown at them.

What Mario Balotelli brings to the table that Cristiano, Messi, Pirlo, Xavi, Rooney and Iniesta doesn’t, is the full package. He has the look, the charisma, the passion, humour, the lifestyle and the life history. Plus he is a winner and he cares!

He is flawed and never runs away from that fact.

Now Nike have spotted his talents, they have included him more and more in advertising campaigns but now is the time they should roll him out to the world.

Here is his advert for Nike France, it should have been all over the world during the Euros…

One Response to “Nike Have Super Mario!”

  1. Thank god someone has the balls to cover the issues that really matter!

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