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Nike lights up Brisbane skyline to mark Rafael Nadal’s return

The Spaniard played his first match after nearly a year of inactivity due to injury.

Nearly a year after incurring a hip injury at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal made a comeback at Brisbane International on Sunday. And from the looks of it, the 36 year-old’s long sponsor, Nike, has taken to the streets of Brisbane in celebrations. 

In an ad placed across the brand’s social media handles, Nike announced the return of Rafael Nadal with the iconic ‘Raging Bull’ logo displayed on the skyscrapers of Brisbane. The logo is Rafael Nadal’s personal brand symbol, which Nike has the rights to.

In the ad, which appears to be computer generated, sees Nadal’s raging bull take on the Brisbane skyline, while the latest Brisbane International tournament commences. Unfortunately for his fans, the Spaniard was handed defeat in his first doubles match at the tournament alongside Marc Lopez. He will return to the arena for his singles match today. 

Let’s not forget, the Spaniard won the record breaking 21st Grand Slam title in 2022 January at the Australian Open. This milestone saw the athlete’s sponsor Nike release an entire celebratory film for him. 

Soon after, the iconic tennis star added to his tally with another win at the French Open. The Mallorcan tennis star is arguably the most decorated competitors of men’s professional tennis. 

Unfortunately, he suffered a hip flexor injury during the last Australian Open, and had been out of action since. 

In September 2023, Nike also received some backlash over the release of Rafael Nadal merch ahead of Roland Garros, when the athlete was clearly still a doubt for the French Open. He eventually didn’t participate in the tournament. His return to Brisbane International also means that he’s made a recovery just in time for another Australian Open. Perhaps his last.

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