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Nike’s ‘Best Day Ever’ ad is a utopian dream for athletes

Where you run a marathon on Mars, sneakers grow from trees, and players’ mental health is valued.

With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, Nike’s newest spot spins hope on how glorious sports can be. Made by Wieden + Kennedy, it’s the latest spot from the global sports brand’s ‘Play New’ campaign.

The 60-second ad is packed with references, and it may feel hard to keep up. It features American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson, who hit the headlines recently after she tested positive for marijuana and is now suspended for a month.

“By lunchtime, a shoe will grow from a seed,” remarks the narrator, which, we feel, is a clear reference to the growing trend of plant-based meat.

“We will all respect athletes' mental health,” says the ad. It is a throwback to this year’s French Open, where Naomi Osaka of Japan withdrew from the grand slam tennis tournament after she was fined $15,000 for skipping the post-match press conference. She revealed she was suffering from bouts of depression.

And, how could we miss “A woman will run a marathon on Mars!” It’s Elon Musk’s dream to colonise the Red Planet. Maybe, he will hand out the winner’s medals.

"We believe sport has the power to inspire, create community and provide a platform for positive change. We want to make people feel the emotion of sport and the potential it has, and we want to help people do sport on their terms," said DJ van Hameren, Nike, Inc.’s chief marketing officer, on the purpose behind imagining a 'Best Day Ever'.

Nike’s 'Play New' campaign is all about finding joy in sports, even if you suck at it.