A new split-screen ad from Nike tells us that sport won’t end due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that all athletes, regardless of sport, are seeking the same things.
The overt message of the ad is simple: The tenacity of athletes and their spirit of pushing through adversity will win out in the end, and a global pandemic won’t stop sports. However, it’s the underpinnings of the commercial that make a larger point. Editing together in split-screen format, athletes from every sport and walk of life show they go through the same triumphs, the same agonies, and celebrate the same ways. It doesn’t matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or what sport they play — everyone is equal.
It’s how this commercial is edited that really makes it stand out. Stitching together different clips from a variety of sports must have been painstaking, and it really pays off in creating the visual imagery of athletes being united. There is also mention of the Black Lives Matter movement, which shows NFL players and NWSL players kneeling together in one long shot.
I don’t know how, but Nike hit me in the feels again with this one.