An 86-Year-Old Nun and Ironman Competitor Is Nike's Latest Star Athlete

Sister Madonna Buder Is Know as the 'Iron Nun'

Published On
Aug 15, 2016

Editor's Pick

Nike's "Unlimited" campaign has showcased athletes who push their boundaries, including ads featuring babies, apparently super-human pros, a transgender duathlete and the U.S.A. basketball team. Nike adds another angle with a spot that tackles ageism. It profiles the extraordinary 86-year-old nun Sister Madonna Buder, who has competed in over 40 Ironman races.

At 75, Buder (who has earned the nickname "The Iron Nun") became the oldest woman to ever complete an Ironman triathlon. At 82, she set a world record as the oldest Ironman triathlon competitor.

Like the previous ads, the spot takes a light-hearted tone rather than the serious, reverential approach we have come to expect from Nike. To poke fun at the idea that the average young person's reaction to an octogenarian triathlete, the narrator (actor Oscar Isaac) starts off patronizing -- "it's great that she's still active at her age" -- then almost freaks out, as she plunges into the sea with other traithletes. He finally accepts that, having done 45 of these things, she should be free to "do her thing."

The spot is by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and directed by Max Malkin at Prettybird.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Sister Madonna, Nike also made a Behind-the-Scenes film which reveals more about her amazing achievements.


Aug 15, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy
Director :
Max Malkin
Production Company :
Global Creative Director :
Alberto Ponte
Global Creative Director :
Ryan O'Rourke
Interactive Director :
Dan Viens
Copywriter :
Adam Tetreault
Art Director :
Sara Phillips
Global Executive Producer :
Matt Hunnicutt
Agency Senior Producer :
Ross Plummer
Agency Producer :
Mauricio Granado
Art Production :
Amy Berriochoa
Art Production :
Jennifer Spillers
Project Management :
Christina Kim
Studio Design :
Rehanah Spence
Studio Design :
Edgar Morales
Retouching :
Amy Corcoran
Retouching :
Kyle Pero
Retouching :
Saskia Thomson
Retouching :
Greg Radich
Strategic Planning :
Andy Lindblade
Strategic Planning :
Nathan Goldberg
Strategic Planning :
Brandon Thornton
Strategic Planning :
Reid Schilperoort
Media/Comms Planning :
Danny Sheniak
Media/Comms Planning :
John Furnari
Media/Comms Planning :
Brian Goldstein
Media/Comms Planning :
Jocelyn Reist
Account Team :
Chris Willingham
Account Team :
Alyssa Ramsey
Account Team :
Corey Woodson
Account Team :
Anna Boteva
Account Team :
Carly Williamson
Business Affairs :
Amber Lavender
Broadcast Traffic :
Stefanie Goodell
Broadcast Traffic :
Andrea Sierra
Executive Producer :
Ali Brown
Executive Producer :
Suzanne Hargrove
Head of Production :
Tracy Hauser
Line Producer :
Matt Wersinger
Director, Photography :
Max Malkin
Production Designer :
Rob Pearson
Editorial Company :
Rock Paper Scissors
Editor :
Damion Clayton
Assistant Editor :
Mike Spagnoli
Post Producer :
Dina Ciccotello
Post Executive Producer :
Helena Lee
Visual Effects Company :
Mill LA
Creative Director :
Phil Crowe
Creative Director :
John Leonti
2D Lead Artist :
James Allen
2D Artist :
John Shirley
2D Artist :
Brad Scott
2D Artist :
Alex Candish
3D Artist :
Andy Wheater
3D Artist :
Jie Zhou
3D Artist :
Michael Lori
Visual Effects Producer :
Anastasia von Rohl
Visual Effects Coordinator :
Rustie Burris
Visual Effects Executive Producer :
Enca Kaul
Color :
Mill LA
Colorist :
Adam Scott
Producer :
Diane Valera
Executive Producer :
Thatcher Peterson
Musical Artist :
Sandy Nelson
Track Name :
Drums Are My Beat
Sound Design Company :
Barking Owl Sound
Sound Design :
Michael Anastasi
Creative Director :
Kelly Bayett
Producer :
Ashley Benton
Music/Sound/Mix :
Audio Mixer :
Loren Silber
Audio Assistant :
Mark Nieto
Executive Producer :
Susie Boyajan

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