Nike Ended the Women's World Cup Like It Began, With Another Showstopper of an Ad

W+K's 'Never Stop Winning' salutes U.S. champs

Nike celebrated Sunday's victory by the U.S. over the Netherlands in the FIFA Women's World Cup final with a powerful, pointed minute-long spot from Wieden + Kennedy.

The team's 2-0 win marked the USWNT's fourth title. Consisting mainly of dramatic black-and-white stills of the players, the ad naturally follows the team's path to glory, but also uses its success as a rallying cry for greatness beyond the pitch. 

Driven by chants of "I believe!" and resonating with confident emotion, the spot kicks off by suggesting—and rightly so—that this squad could be the greatest soccer team in the world, male or female, inspiring "a whole generation of girls and boys" to "go out and play and say things like, 'I want to be like Megan Rapinoe when I grow up.'"

Nike | Never Stop Winning

Such youngsters, the ad goes on to say, should "be inspired to talk and win and stand up for themselves. And I believe that we will make our voices heard, and TV shows will be talking about us every single day and not just once every four years, and that women will conquer more than just the soccer field, like breaking every single glass ceiling, and having their face carved on Mt. Rushmore, and that we'll keep fighting not just to make history, but to change it forever!"

Deal with it, Mr. President! (Trump did post a congratulatory tweet. But the enmity between POTUS and Rapinoe, one of the USWNT's biggest stars, is well documented).

The ad closes with the line, "This team wins. Everyone wins." Clearly, its inclusive take on winning and some of the language can be interpreted as a jab at the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Ultimately, however, the message cuts deeper, channeling the power of sports and hard-won achievement to bridge divides and transcend differences. 

It's a fitting follow-up to Nike's epic commercial from the start of the tournament—which was, naturally, more global in scope—and an impressive reminder that teamwork and determination can help us drive toward a brighter future everyone can share.

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.