Zlatan Ibrahimovic is leveraging all the attention on his brandless football boots in the best way possible; to promote the United Nations World Food Programme’s 805 Million Names campaign on his cleats.
The Swedish striker took to the pitch against Chelsea last night in the UEFA Champions League in all-black boots (as has been his style lately), with the message ‘805 Million Names’ painted on the side of some all-black Mercurial Vapor X’s in silver ink.
What’s all this about? The Great and Mighty Zlatan has been heavily involved in the World Food Programme’s latest campaign for the last month or so.
How heavily involved? Well, the campaign focuses on the idea that there are 805,000,000 people out there with nothing to eat, due to war, famine , poverty or natural disaster.
Alongside this viral video, Zlatan removed his shirt after scoring against Caen last weekend to reveal he’d tattooed 50 of those names across his body – so that when he is the spotlight, some of those in need are, too.
For those who haven’t been following Ibra’s boot saga, the crib-notes are a little like this:
– Zlatan has been a Nike athlete for 13+ years, starring in ads, hosting their tongue-in-cheek World Cup coverage (in animated form). Consistantly #DarestoZlatan
– Zlatan returned from injury in blacked-out Nike boots, signifying his current contract had lapsed.
– Tried out some adidas boots for a bit.
– Tabloid sources report he’s signed with adidas, then PUMA – apparently neither are true.
– Continues to switch between unbranded/blacked-out versions of the Vapor X and f50 adizero.
So, with all eyes on what boots Ibrahimovic is wearing, he’s put the name of a campaign he’s clearly exceptionally passionate about in the spotlight.
In an age where Sony are adding micro-ads only visible to people with 4K Ultra-HD TV’s on players boots, it seems a player known for his aloof, arrogant persona is showing the most humility than everyone else.