Nike honors athletes training in basements and bedrooms in 'Play for the World' coronavirus ad

Along with the global effort, brand is offering digital workouts

Published On
Apr 08, 2020

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Just because athletes are homebound doesn’t mean they can give up on their workouts—from their basements, from their kitchens, from their hallways. Nike’s new spot, its second push in the “Play for the World” campaign the sportswear giant unveiled in late March, encourages consumers to get creative in the ways they play.

The 60-second spot showcases celebrity athletes including LeBron James, Ramla Ali and Sara Hughes in black-and-white footage as they work out at home. Text in the spot reads, “We may not be playing together. We may not be playing for our countries yet. We may not be playing for giant crowds. But today we’re playing for 7.8 billion people.” 

The spot closes with, “This is our chance. Play for the world.”

The line about "playing for our countries" is a nod to the Olympics, which would have taken place in Tokyo this summer but were postponed until 2021. Nike was a sponsor of the games.

The spot was created with Nike’s agency Wieden+Kennedy Portland and comes on the heels of social media posts urging consumers to stay indoors to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. In a post on its website Wednesday, Nike outlined the ways it is helping athletes adjust to sports indoors. The brand is livestreaming workout sessions with master trainers and has introduced a “Living Room Cup” competition. It also outlined resources for kids to stay healthy and fit, including Nike’s partnership with the Discovery Education in the U.K.

In early April, Nike reached out to its member base with an email promoting such resources.

The brand is also using its production lines to create face masks and shields and other personal protection equipment.'

NBC Universal, the official broadcast sponsor of the Olympics and Paralympics has also been highlighting athletes' home training regimen in a humorous "Everyday Olympics" social media campaign