Nike isn't an official Football World Cup sponsor. But when has that ever mattered? Back in 2010, it certainly didn't stop it from riding on the coattails of the tournament and creating one of the best sporting ads ever made with Write the Future. Now it's aiming to do the same for the upcoming tournament in Brazil with its Risk Everything campaign.
The campaign, which was devised by Wieden + Kennedy and shot by Jonathan Glazer, shows Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Neymar Jr dealing with the different forms of pressure they face as professional footballers. And while Write the Future was quite whimsical and featured a range of Nike ambassadors, this one, with its skull logo, flaming die and dramatic overtones strikes a darker and more serious note.
As per usual, there's a lot more than just an ad involved, and the online realm is put to good use, with Nike promoting a global football tournament (branded in yellow and green to enhance confusion, of course). It's also asking players to show themselves risking everything on the #riskeverything hashtag for a chance to get featured on the site.
As Davide Grasso, Nike’s chief marketing officer says in a release:
“The expectations – from a nation’s hopes to the historic power of a shirt – are massive, but these are players who thrive on that responsibility. These players play on the edge because they know great moments usually spring from attempts to try something out of the ordinary. Think about Zlatan's overhead kick last year, or Rooney's goal last weekend. Those moments do not occur without fearless risk-taking.”
“We watch football for those unexpected moments of brilliance in large part because they inspire us to attempt our own. Those moments awaken inside us all the realization that we too can achieve the impossible. This film embodies that sentiment and reminds players in every country at every level: If you are prepared to Risk Everything, there’s no telling what you can do.”