Brazil icon Ronaldo picked out his greatest team-mate and toughest lessons from a garlanded career when guest of honour as sportswear brand Nike unveiled a unique community-focused football experience in Dubai – The Nike FC Footballverse – bringing a fully immersive three-week experience to the city. .
The pursuit for excellence made O Fenomeno (‘The Phenomenon’) a perfect representative of the “Footballverse”, which is Nike’s next expression of the unlimited potential of sport, bringing together and championing incredible Nike players, past and present, to show that every generation of athletes can make a unique impression on the game, expand the sport, and inspire future generations to leave their mark.
The Nike FC Footballverse experience kicks off in JBR, Dubai until December 11th and will bring the sport to an even wider, younger and more energised audience with a series of interactive games and activities. As part of Nike’s ongoing campaign to help fans and players express themselves on and off the pitch, the brand also launched the Nike FC Creators Hub which will be open at the Nike store, in The Dubai Mall until the same date (December 11), where football lovers can customise their own clothing.
Nike FC is more than football and the Nike FC Footballverse is reimagining the game by bringing the best bits of football to make it more inclusive, unexpected and more fun.
The games, designed to inspire the local communities will include a mix of individual and team-focused games allowing players to showcase their skills and teamwork.
Last Friday’s launch at an exclusive panel session featured Nike Global Athlete Ronaldo, Dan Jacob, Director of football at Champions Soccer Academy in the UAE and pioneering football marketer consultant Budreya Faisal.
The two-time Ballon d’Or winner imparted the invaluable lesson to a watching audience that contained many young footballers that it is crucial to use this time on the sidelines to become a “better person, better father, better friend, better human being”.
He said: “When you start playing at the very beginning, soon as possible you have to learn how to lose and how to win.”
A message of inclusivity is crucial to both Nike and their “Footballverse”. Budreya Faisal praised Nike’s ground-breaking work in the region with women’s football.
She said: “Women’s football is changing and is finally getting the attention it deserves. Thanks to Nike, because they were the first to sign any female athletes here.
“Women are doing a lot of amazing things. Things are improving with leagues across the whole region.
“I just cannot wait to see things change here.”
This message was echoed by Dan Jacob.
He said: “The growth in the UAE, especially, female football has been massive. I’ve been in the UAE for 10 years now, so I’ve seen it change.
“Having absolutely amazing facilities here in the Middle East, has helped people play at their convenience.
“I hope it continues this way.”
Ronaldo has been keen to incorporate women’s football into his ownerships of Brazil’s Cruzeiro and Spain’s Valladolid.
He said: “We started in Cruzeiro with the girls and the whole community with both clubs [Valladolid], we are very happy to have girls playing football.
“This is an important moment for women’s football. We have better players, better fields, better conditions for them, better salary.”
Players, teams, and everyone who loves football are also invited to the Nike FC Creators Hub where guests will be immersed in creative product customisation workshops and encouraged to express their own individual artistic flair through the Jersey Customisation sessions and Digital Maker’s Studio. The Workshops will be a true exhibition of creativity.
To take part in The Nike FC Footballverse and Nike FC Creators Hub, supporters will need to register at https://www.nikefootballversedxb.com/