Nike's Fun New Campaign Celebrates Failing Miserably at Sports

At least these stars tried something different

Can basketball star Sabrina Ionescu morph into a tennis ace the first time she picks up a racket? Will world-class sprinter Dina Asher-Smith score a hole in one as she learns to play golf?

Fat chance!

Nike shows these elite athletes—plus Paralympic champ Blake Leeper, singer/songwriter Rosalía and various weekend warriors—having big fun failing miserably at unfamiliar sport in a new spot from Widen + Kennedy Portland.

Play New | Nike

"Here's to going for it and being terrible," the :60 begins. "Here's to giving it a shot, even though your shot is garbage."

The point, of course, is that new experiences can prove immensely enjoyable and rewarding, even if you slip into the surf instead of shooting the curl, or skid off your skateboard onto the cold concrete. (Never fear, you've got kneepads!)

Along with the anthem film, upcoming entries in this "Play New" series feature Ionescu and Asher-Smith discussing how their early failures (and successes) helped shape their careers and build character.

The push in some ways mirrors W+K's new Olympics work for Procter & Gamble, which also focuses on the transcendent, life-affirming power of sports beyond scoring points or winning trophies.

"Sport is one of the greatest ways to watch our growth as human beings," says Nike global brand marketing VP Melanie Auguste. "As a kid, with my brothers, we would mimic the sports we saw on TV. One we did the most was the high jump. We had a bed with posts, so we would tie a string, and then we would take turns jumping over that. We would then go onto our cul-de-sac and run sprints. We had a pool, so then we'd try to do the butterfly. I'm pretty sure we were not doing it right. It was some form of just belly flops. All of that movement and play brought us so much joy."

Nike plans "Play New" AR lenses on Snapchat for virtual surfing, boxing, dancing and yoga, while TikTok creators wills share personal anecdotes about sports and movement.


Client: Nike

Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
Copywriter: Kevin Steele
Art Director: Naoki Ga
Head of Production: Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer: Jake Grand
Senior Producer: Antonio Burnett
Associate Producer: Samson Selam
Director of Business Affairs: Amber Lavender 
Brand Management
Group Brand Director: Andre Gustavo
Brand Manager: William Frazier
Brand Executive: Anthony Williams II
Group Strategy Director: Paula Bloodworth
Strategist: AJ Blumenthal
Group Media Director: Daniel Sheniak, Reme DeBisschop
Associate Media Director: Ryan Craven
Darryl Maxwell: Studio + Design
Creative Operations Manager: Lisa Calgaro, David Ramirez
Integrated Traffic Managers: Sabrina Reddy, Billy Mucha
Design Producer: Sarah Starr
Designer: Mitch Wilson, Charlie Hilton, Morgan Searcy
Motion Graphics Artist: Jeff Ackley 

Company: Pulse
Directors: thirtytwo
Global President of Commercials & Branded: Davud Karbassioun 
Managing Director / EP: Hillary Rogers

Head of Production: Nick Fuller
Producer: Jenni Haberstock
1st AD: Zaida Fakih
Production Supervisor: Andrea Tello
Assistant Production Supervisor: Kathy Burnham 
Director of Photography: Autumn Durald Arkapaw
Production Designer: Jahmin Assa
Location Manager: Florian Schura 
Key Grip: Jamie Lagerhausen 
Gaffer: Brian Bartolini
Costume Designer: Bex Crofton-Atkins
Key Makeup: Rachel Hoke
Stunt Coordinator: Dee Bryant
London Creative Directors: SOB
London Producer: George Saunders
London 1AD: Benji Edwards 
London DP: Rina Yang

Company: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Charlie Harvey 
Assistant Editor: Taylor Schwartz
Executive Producer: Joanna Manning
Post Senior Producer: Annie Maldonado

VFX Company: A52
VFX Supervisor: Jesse Monsour 
Flame Artists: Rod Basham, Thomas Smith
Online Editor: John Valle 
VFX Producer: Armando Plata
VFX Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent 

Color Company: PRIMARY 
Colorist: Daniel De Vue
Executive Producer: Thatcher Peterson
Producer: Jenny Bright 

Sound Design Company: JOINT
Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn + Natalie Huizenga 
Executive Producer: Kathleen Russell 
Producers: Frankie Kerner + Leslie Carthy

Audio Record  Company: LIME STUDIOS
Sound Engineer: Zac Fisher
Assistant Sound Engineer: Michael Baran
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Company: WALKER
Executive Producer: Sara Matarazzo
Executive Producer: Stephanie Pigott
Music Supervisor: Danielle Pigott

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