After Emma Raducanu came from pretty much nowhere to win the US Open last year, many speculated at the brands that would be clamouring to sign her up to sponsorship deals.
And thus it’s come to pass, with Raducanu making appearances in ads for Porsche, Evian, and Vodafone, to name but a few. Her appearance in a new spot for Nike, as part of the brand’s What Are You Working On? series, offers a more thoughtful take on the tennis star, however.
It follows a previous ad for Nike where Raducanu was seen taking on some of the criticisms that have been levelled at her since the US Open win, and sees her opening up on the dangers of chasing perfection, while addressing the “unrealistic” expectations that people had for her after that breakout tournament.
Created by Soursop, the film is shot in a raw, documentary style, and offers a very natural portrait of Raducanu, who also talks about her past, her home town of Bromley and her somewhat unexpected – to me, at least – love of motocross.
With an increasingly awareness of the mental health struggles of athletes, and the unrealistic pressures that fans and critics can place on these young stars, the Nike film offers a reminder of the importance of allowing players such as Raducanu to develop, and to make mistakes. Plus it’s a useful reminder to all of us that, as Raducanu puts it, “perfection just doesn’t exist”.
Creative Agency: Soursop
Production Company: Untold Studios
Director: Pip & Lib
Photographer: Laura Allard Fleischl