Sports stars left gasping for credibility

Posted by Bel. The time is 9.30am here in Wellington, NZ.

What does this Nike ad actually say about the way modern sportspeople have to sell off their bodies, just to get ahead in the game?

5 thoughts on “Sports stars left gasping for credibility”

  1. I am torn about Nike. Their ad for the World Cup gave me EMOTIONS and seemed to really capture the global spirit of sport in a way that the hype surrounding the Olympics never does:

    And The Girl Effect is awesome.

    But then again, yes, that ad is fucking disgusting, and we all know their shoes are made in sweatshop conditions and even with child labour. So.

  2. I don't have a problem with it (other than that it's dumb, like all ads, and general issues with Nike as a corporation) and really don't get what's so disgusting about it beyond other ads?

    Repeatedly it has been shown that being involved with commercial sponsorship deals does not help athletes to get ahead in sport (Anna Kournakova and the All Blacks being prime examples, with their results seeming to decrease with the injection of sponsorship) - at least here Nike have actually selected some of the greatest most talented athletes to tie into their commercial deals (well, with the skew that the women are selected as much on looks, though they are still top athletes).

    None of them need commercial deals (unlike, say, the Silver Ferns who actually do need to be involved in corporate sponsorship in order to pay their rent) so they're freely engaging in it...

  3. I don't think that corporate sponsorship is a guarantee to improve a sportsperson's performance either, but in so many situations, getting money from those sources is the only way to be able to devote your time to training and competing.

    For example, in NZ there is no funding for Olympic althletes, so anyone wanting to play at that level is dependent on fundraising or sponsorship.

    What struck me about this ad was that it makes a direct illustration of the way that Nike, as a business, profits from physicality, with seemingly no return for the sport stars - other than that their star shines brighter by being featured in an advertisement.

    The cracks about the woman's beauty and the uselessness of age really grated, and reiterated the commercialisation (completely literal, in this case).

  4. That's why this ad doesn't bother me - these stars are very likely getting in excess of $1m for their Nike contracts. Maria S is a multi-multi-multi-millionaire sports player, as would be John McEnroe, probably also Paula Radcliffe.... sports players who sign up to do Nike ads are generally already at a level where the money is not a requirement to their schedule so they're doing it for for the $$$ same as any other celeb who engages in commercial sponsorship/ endorsement.