Nike Challenges Sports Fans to Compete With Their Favorite Athletes From Home

Sports stars shot all the footage for the campaign themselves while in isolation

nine headshots of athletes with the living room cup in the middle
Nike's indoor workout competition is coming to a star-studded finale.
Headshot of Patrick Kulp

Amateur athletes can test their workout endurance against superstars like hockey’s Alexander Ovechkin or tennis’ Rafael Nadal next week as part of the star-studded finale of Nike’s two-month-long “Living Room Cup” campaign in Europe.

The Instagram-centric campaign focuses on various mostly aerobic exercises suited for a home environment, like crunches or toe-touches, and challenges viewers to beat a particular athlete’s personal best. The competitions were orchestrated by AKQA, which handles Nike’s digital.

Footage for the campaign was shot by each of the athletes from home, and past participating pros have included soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and golfer Rory McIlroy.


The sportswear giant is hoping to end the campaign with a bang, kicking off an “all-star week” that features a different celebrity athlete each night. Participants in the competition are invited to track their progress via the Nike Training Club and brag about it on social media with the hashtags #PlayInside and #TheLivingRoomCup.

The competition’s finish comes as some European countries, like France and Germany, are starting to loosen isolation regulations, with Covid-19 infection rates on the decline.

still shots of four athletes

The series is just one of several ways Nike has been keeping its marketing machine running through the Covid-19 lockdown. Last week, the brand and AKQA rolled out a literal interpretation of the digital cloud with augmented reality floating sneakers through which app users could unlock exclusive content.

The sneaker company set the tone for its quarantine advertising in early April with a 60-second ad from Wieden + Kennedy that featured compiled still and video footage of athletes working out at home.

@patrickkulp Patrick Kulp is an emerging tech reporter at Adweek.