Nike celebrates the perseverance of sports and social unity

The short film by Wieden+Kennedy uses split screen segues and features a galaxy of Nike endorsers and everyday athletes to highlight the universality of sport and societal challenges.

As many professional sports leagues return to action under unique conditions, Nike has rolled out its latest film titled 'You Can't Stop Us'. Featuring 53 athletes and 24 sports including India's women's cricket team, you can already guess it's not about the shoes.

Instead, two-time World Cup soccer champion and Nike endorser, Megan Rapinoe narrates a spot that poetically roams over the absence of sports and the central role of social movements, such as Black Lives Matter with a message of perseverance and unity.  

Now iconic footage from seasons past, like that of Nike endorser Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the football field, appears in the 1:30 montage.

“When we’re held back, we’ll go harder and farther,” narrates Rapinoe.

Many of Nike’s powerhouse endorsers star in the spot, including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rapinoe herself. The athletes appear playing their sport and passionately protesting.

“If we don't fit the sport, we’ll change the sport,” vows Rapinoe.

The spot intersperses glimpses of everyday folk participating in a range of sports. One memorable image is of a woman in a niqab skateboarding down the street. As she skates on one side of the screen, it segues to a man skateboarding holding a rainbow flag.

The segue technique is used repeatedly to universalise the exhilaration of sports. For example, another segue shows a showjumper taking a fence then morphs into a BMX rider taking his bike over a jump.

Through those actions, it says that sport shows us what an equal playing field looks like — and reminds us that a better future for the world is possible.



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