Why Nike’s ‘land of new football’ could be an own goal

Sport used to be called ‘war by other means.’ These days, we’re continually told, it’s a way of making the world more open, accessible, less prejudiced…well you get the drift.

Nike is a mega-corporation, intent on improving the world. Selling some sporting apparel at the same time but that’s not really the point..

But do we really believe this? Or does the constant repetition of such sentiments pall after a while? Become hectoring?

Here’s the latest in its ‘Play’ series, from Wieden+Kennedy (London presumably) celebrating ‘The land of new football.’

Nike’s spin on all this is: “Play means joy. It represents pure enjoyment and being able to just be free. All kids play. That’s just a natural thing they do. The reason we are encouraging people to ‘Play New,’ is to celebrate that notion of getting back to the joy of discovering and trying something for the first time — the joy of letting loose a little bit.”

This episode in this series is powerful but pretty aggressive. It’s had over 20 million views on YouTube but more dislikes than likes.

Do some football supporters think their game’s being taken away from them? By the likes of Nike? Say it quietly, but maybe they’d quite like Marcus Rashford to score a goal for England.

MAA creative scale: Tricky (great film but..): 6.5.

You May Also Like

About Stephen Foster

Avatar
Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.