The state of Bahia in Brazil has a lack of blood in its blood banks. Or, it used to. Thanks to a partnership between Hemoba (Blood) Foundation and the much-loved Brazilian soccer club, Esporte Clube Vitoria, Bahia was able to raise awareness for the lack of blood in its blood banks and actually increased the amount of blood donated by citizens.
Vitoria, one of Brazil’s most storied soccer clubs, joined hands with the Hemoba Foundation’s award-winning campaign, “My Blood is Red and Black,” removing the red stripes from its black and red jerseys and challenging the fans of the team to donate blood.
Changing the traditional red and black uniform for the noble cause of blood donation, Vitoria added one of the red stripes, which had been removed for the campaign, back to the jersey for each game as fans did their part and donated blood.
With over 100 years of history, the temporary change to the club’s iconic color scheme was cause for a great amount of publicity, going a long way to help solve the very serious health issue.
According to the video produced by Hemoba Foundation and Clube Vitoria, “people only think about donating blood when someone they really like is in need;” to encourage citizens to donate blood, the Hemoba Foundation and Clube Vitoria invited fans to donate to their favorite passion, “their football team.”
The “My Blood is Red and Black” campaign saw blood donations increase by 46% and was recognized at the International Andy Awards with the Richard T O’Reilly award for Public Service, Gold for best use of a celebrity and Silver for Public Service.
As a bonus to the cause, Vitoria received more than one billion page views to the club’s website and 935 minutes of television exposure (including Open TV, Cable and Pay-Per-View); a $15 thousand investment that returned an estimated $8 million in spontaneous media, according to the video produced by the Hemoba Foundation and Clube Vitoria.
The positive publicity flames were also stoked with online raffles for fans who donated blood, even going so far as to have the campaign-inspired jerseys represented in the popular video game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012.
Every year Major League Baseball and the National Football League wear pink during the month of October to raise awareness for breast cancer, and we’ve seen individual teams support causes on a more local level by slightly altering their uniforms with a number here or a set of initials there; we have never seen a team’s uniforms used as a call to arms, engaging its fans in such a positive way.
As one excited street vendor exclaimed, “this will become a relic in the history of Vitoria.”