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Nike advertisement shines light on women in sports

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Wed, Mar 6th 2019 09:00 am
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Deserved Recognition Nike featured women athletes such as Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Picabo Street, Gabby Reece and more in new advertisement video. The video gave women the acknowledgement they deserve in sports.

Nike has been able to keep the public’s attention in many ways for the last couple years. What used to be known worldwide as a great brand to get great sportswear and sneakers, has recently switched course. The company has recently launched an ad exposing the double standards women face in the workplace and sports.

The commercial, titled “Dream Crazier” highlighted female athletes such as gymnast Simone Biles, volleyball player Gabby Reece and american alpine skier Picabo Street. Serena Williams, who has gone through her own struggles in her sport, narrated the piece. With William’s narration, the ad addressed the act of women showing emotion at work and how they tend to be called delusional, nuts and irrational.

According to CNN Business, the difference in perception often hurts women's advancement in the workplace. Women can be penalized for acting in a way that professionals deem “overly dramatic” or “aggressive” in some situations. In the same breath, a man may be called passionate.

"If we show emotion, we're called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we're nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional," was one line Williams said in the ad.

The commercial highlighted a number of women of color, who go through an extensive extra layer of prejudice.

"We've been a supporter of female athletes, but we thought it was a good time to come out with a stronger message," says Nancy Monsarrat, Nike's U.S. brand director.

As powerful as the message was, some viewers did not agree with the concept. Some comments on Nike’s Youtube page described the piece only showing that women are crazy and illogical. User Erica Belt put the blame on the women, saying that the ad set women back and let society think we were just ‘victims.’

“Who says it’s crazy? I want to know because I have never heard anyone say this in my lifetime,” Belt said. “Way to pretend to be victims again ladies. Well done making the achievements of women everywhere about your victim-driven agenda.”

User Emil Kingsley agreed with Belt and wrote, “when a girl does good at sports boys make sure to let them know how great they are, because they find it amazing a girl doing good at sports.”

The irony in that statement alone should not be overlooked. Why wouldn’t a woman be able to play sports as well as a man? The only thing every athlete needs to succeed is insane work ethic, regardless of gender.

Nike recently received mixed reviews for their decision to support Colin Kaepernick in the “Take a knee” initiative. Followers of Kaepernick were ecstatic when the brand featured him in an ad, causing merchandise sales to skyrocket.

Using Williams to narrate this piece was a smart marketing move on Nike’s part. Williams just recently had issues with a certain umpire who decided to belittle her in a match, saying she was angry and speaking out of turn. If a man were to do the same thing, no consequences would come to him and he would be understood immediately.