Nike and AKQA Will Train Your Brain to Help You Play Football Like a Genius

By Patrick Coffee 

Playing football is a lot like playing video games in that it’s really all in your head.

On that point, the world’s biggest footwear company has made its first foray into “mental training” via Nike Football Pro Genius, a series of features within the Nike Football [Don’t Call It Soccer] App, now available for download on your usual app stores.

Today the company launched a campaign promoting this new suite with the help of agency partner AKQA, which helped Nike develop all major aspects of the service including the underlying concept, the design, the programming and the films/animations involved.


So how does it work? By getting inside YOUR BRAIN.

Are they geniuses, though, or are they just athletically equipped individuals who have trained themselves, through endless practice, to respond in a nearly subconscious way to given stimuli?

So how does it work? Seems the app includes a series of games (we knew it!) that were “developed working closely with the world’s best footballers” to help would-be superstars warm up before games, make split-second decisions on the field, determine the physics of football movement without actually delving into any science-like stuff, “imagine in-game scenarios successfully and in vivid detail” and, perhaps most importantly, pump themselves up with a bit of the old rah rah.

Here’s another, slightly more specific spot starring German midfielder Mario Götze.

Can an app make you a great football player? Obviously not. But this is a super-competitive field, and if the U.S. military can train soldiers using video games then there’s very obviously something to the practice.

We still couldn’t help but imagine these footballers as a bunch of professional video gamers.


Agency: AKQA (London)
Client: Nike
VFX: VisualAssembly and DBLG
Sound Production: String and Tins
Film Production Partner: Archer’s Mark