Nike Gives Voice to Generations of Ass-Kicking Women

Ad celebrates the toughness of pioneering athletes

Timed to coincide with Title IX’s 40th anniversary, Nike and Wieden + Kennedy have created this “Voices” ad paying tribute to female athletes who triumphed in the face of locker room sexism and traditional gender role enforcement. Several incredible women provide the stories for the spot: Olympic boxer Marlen Esparza, pioneering women’s basketball star Lisa Leslie and fellow WNBA icon Diana Taurasi are all compelling. But the clear star here is Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the world’s first gold medal for women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics. Her poise and intensity create the emotional center of this spot, which left me confident that she’s probably still in good enough shape to kill me by raising an eyebrow.