Nike & (RED) CharityLONDON, Dec 1, 2009 / FW/ — Today is World AIDS Day, and yesterday, the world’s leading footballers joined Bono at an announcement of the partnership between NIKE, Inc. and (RED) to fight HIV/AIDS.

Even before the press conference went underway, passers-by at the NikeTown store at London’s Oxford Street already knew about it because the store windows were all dressed up announcing the NIKE & (RED) Charity collaboration.

The phrase “LACE UP” is actually half of the campaign’s mantra, “Lace Up. Save Lives.” The Nike and (RED) concept is a simple one that invites people to ‘Lace Up. Save Lives’ by purchasing a pair of NIKE (PRODUCT)RED laces.

One hundred percent of the profits from (NIKE)RED laces will be split equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which funds AIDS programs that provide medicine for those living with HIV, and football-based community initiatives that deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention. This unique partnership delivers programs that both medicate and educate.

Of course, all of these tidbits were revealed in the press conference that was attended by footballers Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Denilson (Arsenal), Lucas Neill (Everton), Clint Dempsey (Fulham) and Seol Ki-Hyeon (Fulham).

Making the partnership announcement were Mark Parker, President and CEO of Nike Inc., Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED) and Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS , Tuberculosis and Malaria and U2 vocalist and (RED) co-founder Bono to emphasize the need for global action and participation to eliminate AIDS in Africa.

Progress has been made in the drive to reduce HIV infections in Africa, with fourteen countries reporting a decline in the prevalence of the disease. This is great news and proves the fight can be won. But AIDS remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. An estimated 3,800 men, women and children die in sub-Saharan Africa every day, in addition to 6,000 new infections every day among 15-24 year old men and women.

‘The (RED) Nike laces can tie athletes around the world together with people living under threat from HIV in Africa in a beautiful way ,’ said Professor Michel D. Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. ‘Wearing these (RED) laces is a sign that you care about others and it helps us to protect and treat millions of people who every day risk infection or struggle with the effects of HIV.’

(Nike)RED laces will be available December 1st at Nike Store locations and key retailers worldwide. In addition, (Nike)RED laces will be available at for purchase. And additional (NIKE) RED products will be introduced in the coming months.