Boy, Nintendo wasn’t kidding when it said it was wanting to license out its characters more. Not settling for toasters, golf bags, and anything less than top of the world, Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Adidas and the Japanese National Soccer Team have all banded together with an amazing deal that will allow Pikachu to represent the team at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
It’s such a Nintendo move and a bit of a strange choice for the Japanese National Soccer Team, I think. Japan is a country that is (in)famous worldwide for making characters of the cutest, weirdest, scariest, and craziest variety on a whim. I would think that somebody could come up with something original, but instead, Nintendo gets advertising on a world scale and everyone gets to see a familiar face.
The collaboration runs with Adidas’ “Engine Project,” an effort to encourage teammates on to act as a single “engine” to win. The choice of Pikachu and his lightning powers are what makes this ridiculous metaphor super effective. Only if it’s a hybrid engine, though.
Looks like we will have to wait for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 to see what kind of original sports character Japan is going to create, because I am hoping it once again turns to its strong video game legacy for the Summer Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.