By  on March 17, 2010

Nike is kick-starting its global soccer marketing for the FIFA World Cup.

The athleticwear giant has unveiled a lineup of products that it will push through social media and underground blogs in preparation for soccer’s greatest spectacle. New items include jerseys made of 100 percent recycled polyester and footwear.

Nike, which has developed software that works in conjunction with socialmedia, has taken a functional and subtle approach to social networks asa marketing tool in the run-up to the monthlong event that starts June11 in South Africa.

“We will absolutely use social networks, but we do it in the context of how it connects with the consumer and what role it can play in allowing them to interact with us and share their story, as opposed to it being a broadcast for us,” said Trevor Edwards, vice president of brand and category management for Nike Inc.

Users can upload their progress, compare it with their idols’ performance and share it with their friends. Parker said the product “connects the digital and physical worlds of football. These are among Nike’s most advanced products to date.”

World Cup teams wearing the recycled jerseys will be Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Slovenia and the U.S. An average of eight plastic bottles has been used to create each of the jerseys, said Kate Meyers, communications manager of Nike’s sustainability and innovation group. Yarn created in Taiwan from the recycled plastic was subsequently spun into fabric in Indonesia to create the collection of athletic shirts.

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