Nike and Google Produce Social Networking Site for Soccer Fans
Just two months prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Nike and Google have teamed up to launch a free social networking site for soccer fans. The site itself is very reminiscent to MySpace, but users can only enter the network through invitation. Nike is supplying the content and Google the technical support. Users can create Web sites, send e-mail, photos and video clips, and access Nike's TV and interactive spots for its World Cup campaign, "Joga Bonito." According to Business Week, Nike approached Google to do the project partly because of the immense popularity of Orkut, Google's social network, in Brazil, the world's most prominent soccer country. The companies plan to have the site up and running in 140 countries and 14 languages; currently there's very little content on the community site, which debuted this week, except profiles of Nike-sponsored soccer players and employees who have created their own pages. Google and Nike may combine to create social networking sites for basketball, baseball, and other sports, depending on how well Joga.com does. To spread buzz online, Nike has been releasing video clips and documentaries of its soccer stars on the Web, as well as video games.