Soccer-Themed Social Network Lets Nike Become Content Distributor

Media Morph: Joga.com/JogaTV

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Joga.com/JogaTV.
Nike's JogaTV is an online TV play with 30 minutes of new programming a week leading up to the World Cup.
Nike's JogaTV is an online TV play with 30 minutes of new programming a week leading up to the World Cup.

What it is: Perhaps one of the best examples of a marketer harnessing digital media tools to create their own direct-to-consumer entertainment brand. Joga.com and JogaTV were borne of Nike's Joga Bonito campaign, which means "play beautiful" in Portuguese. Joga.com is a soccer-themed social-media network and JogaTV is an online TV play with 30 minutes of new programming a week leading up to the World Cup. Adam Roth, U.S. advertising director at Nike, said the properties were meant to "take advantage of kids' insatiable appetite for soccer and help us go beyond traditional media and become a distribution platform."

Why it's cool: Through a partnership with Google, Nike's Joga.com lets users upload photos and videos, blog about soccer lifestyle, link to friends and create user groups. (Users must create a Google ID and password to join Joga.com.) JogaTV, meanwhile, capitalizes on the relative dearth of soccer-related content on traditional media -- at least in the US. Nike enlisted online-video publisher Maven to create the player, which purposefully has a grainy, underground feel, and uploads a new half-hour video every week leading up to the World Cup. In a smart use of RSS technology, Nike allows users to subscribe to the content, which is then accessible through a Nike-branded widget on users' computer desktops. Much of the professionally produced and user-generated Joga Bonito content is also available on YouTube.com. A recent search turned up almost 1,400 videos. The most-viewed clip, a three-minute report on how Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic warms up by juggling chewing gum, had logged 85,000 views.

Traffic: Since its launch at the end of April, the Nike soccer sites had the eighth-largest soccer presence on the Web in the U.S., according to Hitwise, which tracks about 400 soccer-related Web sites. Hitwise indicates that about 70% of the sites' visitors are male, mostly in the 18-to-24 age range.

Stay tuned: JogaTV.com will air programming from Germany and behind-the-scenes content of the U.S. Team in the locker rooms and on the bus.
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