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What's in a number?
Sunday, March 25, 2007

It depends who you ask.

When I was a kid, I remember the time to pick a number for the soccer team's jersey being a very stressful one. We all knew that we had to wear the same number as the best professional players, and if we didn't get there on time the day the shirts were handed out the best numbers could be gone and the whole season would be a bust. (Trust me, you play better with the same number as Maradona's on your back.)

Marketing departments all over the globe caught on, and now they know that the the shirts that sell the most are the ones with the number the best (and most famous) players wear. It's a winning formula.

Apparently, Dunga, Brazil's coach, doesn't care too much about how the world works or how much money Nike has spent to create the myth of Ronaldinho's number 10.

Over the weekend Brazil played a friendly game against Chile. Brazil won 4-0, and Ronaldinho scored 2 goals.

The problem for everyone is that Ronaldinho didn't wear the number 10 jersey (as you can see from the picture above). Kaka did. Ronaldinho wore the unwanted, and not so mythical, number 7.

And this is a problem for Nike (and Dunga) because of the newly 10R Nike campaign just launched in March, i.e., whole products, print, and web sites have been created with the understanding that Ronaldinho is the best player in the world and his number is 10, unconditionally.

Well, not for Dunga. I'm sure, though, he'll come to his senses and then agree with Nike that Dinho is still the best player in the world and must wear the number 10 jersey for every team that he plays for--even if he is not in the best physical form of his career.

In the world of marketing what counts is positioning, and by the amount of money spent on R10, I'm sure everyone will agree that Ronaldinho is the best. Even if FIFA is mistaken to think that Cannavaro was the FIFA player of 2006. The nerve of some people...

Can the "R" be transformed to "K" without anyone noticing? I'm not sure that would work. So somebody better be calling somebody to fix this minor misunderstanding.

11:58 PM | 0 comment(s) |


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