A recent addition to Nike’s “Play New” campaign stars soccer player Mara Gomez, the first openly transgender woman to compete in Argentina’s professional league.
Gomez, 22, only began playing the sport at age 15 and officially made her debut in Argentina’s professional women’s league in December 2020. Nike’s 60-second ad depicts not only the hard work the athlete puts into her sport, but also moments of joy as she laughs, twirls and flexes for the camera. Gomez reflects on how soccer changed her life and how she wants to do the same for other players.
“Today I’m the first professional transgender player in Argentina,” she says in the spot. “And it was not easy, because I didn’t have a role model to follow. So it’s my turn to open the door for the athletes to come.” As she says this, a downpour of soccer balls fall from the sky around Gomez as she watches in wonder, as if seeing the future generation she will inspire.
In a Nike blog post connected to the campaign, Gomez said her dream is to de-binarize FIFA regulations and, some day, represent Argentina in a World Cup.
“If it’s not with me, it doesn’t matter, let it be with someone else—but let it happen," she said.
The Nike “Play New” campaign began this summer and continues to feature trailblazing athletes that refresh the joy of playing sports.
Gomez’s installment isn’t the brand’s first time spotlighting a transgender player. In 2016, an ad in the brand's “Unlimited” campaign featured Chris Mosier, the first openly transgender athlete to compete for the U.S. men’s national team at the Olympics.