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In the run-up to the 2006 World Cup, Nike and Google have partnered up to create Joga, the first invitation-only social networking website for soccer fans. Joga is short for Nike’s slogan ‘Joga Bonito’, which is Portuguese for ‘play beautifully.’ Joga will be up and running in 14 languages soon, and is meant to be a global community for the world’s most popular sport. Official city and athlete communities are created by Nike for their professional athletes, including Brazilian superstar Ronaldino and U.S. soccer prodigy Freddy Adu. Members can create communities for their favorite player, city, or field. Google takes care of the technical side, including plenty of moving images from Google Video. Riding on the popularity of social networks like MySpace (for teens) and Flickr (for anyone with a camera), more big league players are likely to partner up to create their own interactive communities, just like Edmunds did with its Carspace. And how about creating pop-up social networks for specific events? There’s money to be made here for big brands, agencies, social software experts, and a host of content partners.

Website: www.joga.com

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