By now you know the name Brittney Griner and if you don’t, you soon will. The out athlete and number one WNBA draft pick recently inked a deal with Nike. This comes shortly after Nike expressed interest in signing a gay pro athlete. Rick Welts, the Golden State Warrior’s openly gay president said, “The player who does it, they’re going to be amazed at the additional opportunities that are put on the table, not the ones that are taken off.” This sounds to me like Nike is going to take the gay ball and run with it. What better time to be nostalgic about great sports commercials than right now?
Nike, Gatorade, and McDonald’s really went all in on Girl Power in the late 90s and early 2000s, helping to make many female athletes household names. I think there’s been a bit of a drop-off in the the “look it’s all my favorite athletes being badass and hanging out” commercials. Especially in those featuring women. But then again, I haven’t had cable in three years so maybe I’ve just missed them. Either way, I’d love to see an updated American Woman commercial.
The Let Your Game Speak commercial is one of my favorites because it shows just how iconic Michael Jordan is. He mastered a personality backed confidence that sometimes dipped into goofy cockiness and people still loved him. That same fervor and “I got this” attitude is often used to make female athletes seem standoffish and arrogant BOTP. Maybe we’ll see that turn around when Brittney Griner develops a signature shrug after a game winning shot, or a playful smile after she dunks on someone. What I’m saying is, I’ll be ready for this commercial once there are enough Griner moments people can list off the top of their heads.
There’s a real lack of teenagers dribbling basketballs with their knees, which means this commercial needs a comeback. I bet Brittney mixing dance moves into a dribbling exhibition will be a lot cuter and less awkward than when these guys did it.
It’s no secret that throwing little kids into commercials with pro athletes is a success from the get-go. This is one of my favorite commercials of all time and if they just straight up replaced Marion Jones, I wouldn’t even be mad.
This is probably the most likely commercial to happen, but that won’t stop me from putting it on my wishlist. The This is Sports Center series will have to come up with a brilliant idea to top this one with Abby Wambach.
There is nothing I want more than Brittney Griner to dribble through a crowd of ninjas, fighters, and just weird people with weapons. Her handles probably aren’t on par with Hot Sauce of And1 fame, but it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.
It blows my mind that no beer companies have cornered the lesbian market. Bud Light had this amazing commercial with Lisa Leslie back in the day but hopefully Griner will be able to score a higher quality beer. Honestly, I think this would be the time for hard ciders to scoop up a big win. A Brittney Griner Strongbow commercial would be everything you never knew you wanted.
And duh, the Mike vs. Mike commercial has to make the list. We’ll have to wait a while to see college-aged Brittney with her feisty attitude take on a calmer, seasoned WNBA champion Griner, but they can start working on the CGI now.
What old school commercial would you point Nike towards while they’re gearing up for the Griner campaign?