Nike have launched adverts which celebrate women’s football in honour of the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019. Writer Caitlin Black explains why it’s a step in the right direction.
Imagine a world where a female coaching a male football team isn’t taboo. Imagine female football players being as well paid and respected as male football players.
And now imagine your Fifa-loving friend playing an EA Games match with female football players. Seem completely out of reach? Well Nike’s new Dream Further advert says that it doesn’t have to be.
Dream Further is an assertive, goose bump-inducing celebration of female athletes.
The advert opens at the beginning of a football match, and zooms in on a line of restless footballers anticipating their entrance onto the football field. A 10-year-old mascot, Makena Cook, stands next to The Netherlands’ Danielle Van de Donk , who reassuringly takes Makena’s hand and asks: “Are you ready?”
The answer is yes, Danielle, we are ready for this revelry of female empowerment and women in sports. We are ready to see Neymar jr. playing the female version of Fifa and Alex Scott coaching Barcelona.
Dream Further will make anyone who isn’t currently excited for the Fifa Women’s World Cup want to book the next flight to France to watch a match live; or at least grab your friends and watch the matches at the pub.
The Nike ad also features the new limited-edition Dream Further jersey, the first kids-only football shirt worn by Makeena and the other young mascots. Danielle grabs Makeena’s hand and tells her “you’re not done yet” and proceeds to play a match with Makeena by her side.
The scene is set to the track Bad Reputation by Joan Jett, hearkening back to Amanda Bynes’ classic film She’s The Man – a young girl who dressed as a man so she was able to play football.
Scenes of rousing female empowerment ensue and makes me wish I was born with even the slightest of foot-eye co-ordination.
It ends with the phrase, “Don’t change your dream. Change the world.” And the world of female football has certainly changed, especially since the inception of the Women’s World Cup.
Another Nike ad features Nigerian professional footballer Asisat Lamina Oshoala, the highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Asisat started playing football for fun and never imagined doing it professionally. She says being surrounded by great women makes her want to do more on and off the pitch.
Asisat wants young girls to play football and has her own foundation to support young female footballers.
It’s time the names of the best female footballers pass through our lips as easily as the names of male footballers do.
Although a couple of adverts from one of the most profitable sports brands in the world isn’t going to eradicate the prejudice against female athletes and footballers, it’s refreshing to see one of the leading sports companies taking a stance and creating sport clothing and content for women.
Women’s football is starting to get more support and better resources and this world cup has the most teams playing ever since its infancy in 1999. Although we have a long way to go, especially with the prevailing pay gap issue in women’s football, female football is entering the global consciousness on a new level and it’s exciting.
We’re not done yet.