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Brazilian Soccer Team Asks Super Fans to Show Their Support in Blood

Brazilian team EC Vítoria is ditching its trademark red and black-striped uniform as part of a campaign to encourage fans to donate blood.

The Brazilian soccer team EC Vitória's red and black-striped jerseys are as integral to the team's identity as the Yankees' pinstripes. (The team's nickname is the "Rubro-negro," or "Red and Blacks," after all.) But this season, fans looking on from the bleachers may be a little confused to see white gaps where the red part of the equation used to lie. The change, however, has little to do with rebranding the team's image and everything to do with promoting a good cause.

Vítoria is erasing the color from its jerseys as part of a campaign to encourage its fans to donate blood. As donations stream in over the course of the seasons, the red stripes on the team's jerseys will slowly return. When they finally reach their donation goal (and even if they don't, presumably), the red bands will be fully restored.

The campaign is being promoted through Facebook and social media, asking fans to send in pictures of themselves donating. Titled "Meu Sange é Rubro-Negro" (My Blood is Red and Black), a promotional video reminds fans, "Vitória has always bled for you. Now it's time to give back."

While the message may seem like a simple gesture, it's a significant step when you consider the value of the real estate they're altering. Teams in the English Premier League now generate more than a hundred million dollars by turning their jerseys into moving billboards replete with corporate ads (and Vítoria's jersey, pictured above, already has an ad for Brazilian real estate company OAS Imóveis). Preserving space for a positive message, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air.


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