Nike comes in like a wrecking ball in its first-ever commercial for the National Women’s Soccer League, as excitement continues to build around the women’s game ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the 60-second spot, which was was directed by Jeff Tremaine of Jackass fame. We last saw Tremaine a few weeks ago directing a spirited spot for Liquid Death—and he brings the energy here, too, with a giant soccer ball on a chain smashing up a team bus marked “F.C. Parking the Bus.”
That’s a reference to when defenses in soccer try to “park the bus” in front of goal, trying to stymie the opponent while giving up on offense. That strategy, widely derided as boring to watch, won’t work against the top scorers in the NWSL, the spot suggests.
The spot features game footage of Sophia Smith, Mallory Swanson, Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan. “This is our beautiful game,” it says at the end.
While this is its first official NWSL spot, Nike has been involved in the league for years—it was a founding partner in 2012 and has supplied its teams with uniforms, apparel and equipment ever since.
The Nike spot comes two weeks after the NWSL kicked off its own ad campaign for the league’s 11th season. That 60-second kickoff leaned into the World Cup excitement with the theme “We Play Here”—emphasizing that so many of the sport’s top stars who will compete on the World Cup stage are battling every week in NWSL action.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will take place this July and August in Australia and New Zealand.