Sports Law Blog
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Saturday, June 23, 2012
 

The sports world marked today's 40th anniversary of Title IX by showing a lot of women's sports on TV, including Olympic trials in a number of sports (such as diving and track) and a marathon of WNBA games.

I also caught a new Nike ad, titled Voices. It features close-up shots of basketball players Diana Taurasi and Lisa Leslie, boxer Marlen Esperaza, and marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson (who I still remember winning the first Olympic women's marathon in Los Angeles in 1984, wearing a white painter's cap) talking about the obstacles and challenges they faced growing up and starting to play sports (notably, each at different ages and stages of Title IX's 40-year history). Those head shots are interspersed with shots of young girls in uniform lip-synching their comments. This ad can be seen as the successor to Nike's famous 1995 If You Let Me Play (regarded by many as one of the all-time best ads). Both can be seen after the jump.

In watching them, note the new rhetoric and narrative. The earlier ad is trying to convince the viewer to let women and girls play by citing all the instrumental benefits that come with participation in sports (better grades, self-confidence, health, etc.). The new ad says that women and girls do and should play simply because they want to. Oh, and because they're really freaking good. This strikes me as progress.

Voices:


If You Let Me Play:






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