In the über-branded football world of today, it has become all too rare for a club exploit its image for good. How heartwarming, then, to see the trend being bucked in the Brazilian second division this week.
Esporte Clube Vitória - a club whose size and popularity are belied by their Série B status - have come up with an ingenious way to encourage their fans to give blood. The club are temporarily removing the colour red from their famous rubro-negro jerseys - quite a big deal, given that teams are often referred to colloquially by the colours of their strip in Brazil. The Leão da Barra will then 'refill' the shirts one hoop at a time as blood donations are made over the course of the season. (See 0:50 in the video below.)
The campaign, launched in partnership with Hemoba, the Bahia state blood foundation, is entitled Meu Sange é Rubro-Negro (My Blood is Red and Black). "Vitória has always bled for you," urges the video. "Now it's time to give back."
Here's to other clubs following in Vitória's pioneering footsteps.
A version of this article appeared in FourFourTwo magazine. Hat-tip to André Savastano for alerting me to the campaign.