For hundreds of years, kids played sports without painted lines, trimmed fields or standardized equipment. Games were about play, not work or scholarships or careers. The stakes were low, and sometimes the rules were made up or changed mid-race, or new games started before old ones ended.
A new short film for Nike and Dick's Sporting Goods from Wieden & Kennedy Portland seeks to recapture that lost magic with an energetic, inspiring montage of sports taken to extreme or absurd lengths. The spot features several young pro athletes: CiCi Bellis takes on three tennis ball machines on a single court, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson fires passes through a tire propped on the back of a moving pickup truck and Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh practices penalty kicks on a rooftop soccer field--with a goal in another building.
Other kids make up their own challenges, whether grabbing a flag off the back of an ATV or catching golf balls with baseball mitts. Some of the tasks are traditional training exercises. A lacrosse team plays a scrimmage with eggs and a plastic-wrapped basketball makes a good dribbling test.
The spot is directed by Stacy Wall of Imperial Woodpecker and is running online and in pre-roll at cinemas. It will make its broadcast debut close to ESPN's ESPY awards on July 18.