Nike Welcomes Winter With Epic, Star-Studded ‘Snow Day’ Commercial

More than 20 athletes brave the cold in style

After last year's brutal weather, folks in the Boston area might not be screaming "Snow day!" quite as exuberantly upon the arrival of this winter's first big storm. But New England Patriots hero Rob Gronkowski seems to have no problem with snowflakes as he headlines this epic, two-minute cold-weather commercial from Nike—ushering in the season of flurries, frozen feet and star-studded neighborhood Snow Bowls.

More than 20 pro athletes turn out for the ad, from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., and Biscuit Filmworks director Steve Rogers. And no matter their actual sport, they all seem to be playing Winter Olympians for the day—if things like snowball fighting, snow-plow jumping and needlessly shattering lots of frosted glass could be Olympic sports.

In the end, they line up for a football game—fittingly, as the ad will get its first airing Thursday night during the Patriots-Dolphins game. (In fact, the pecking order of celebs here seems inspired by that very game, with Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh being the first character Gronkowski encounters in his SportsCenter-like neighborhood, where only pro sportsmen and -women seem to live. Never mind that it's actually 70 degrees right now in Foxborough, Mass., where tonight's game will be played.)

The spot pushes Nike's Hyperwarm baselayer of workout apparel. And in fact, kicking off winter with a tribute to the Hyperwarm line is becoming something of a tradition for Nike. This spot is more straightforward than last year's, though, which was more theatrical and featured Chris O'Dowd as a weatherman of sorts, hyperbolically describing the effects of cold on the human body.

All the typical Nike energy and humor are there in the new spot, although it must be said that the constant falling snow obscures the athletes a bit and maybe dulls the impact somewhat. (These would be first world art director problems.)

Along with Gronk and Suh, the ad serves up Odell Beckham Jr., Le'Veon Bell, Eugenie Bouchard, Antonio Brown, Elena Delle Donne, Marlen Esparza, Paula Findlay, Lauren Fisher, Paul George, A.J. Green, Draymond Green, Luke Kuechly, Sydney Leroux, Carli Lloyd, Marcus Mariota, LeSean McCoy, Ben Roethlisberger, Eric Weddle and Steven Stamkos.

Also check out the behind-the-scenes video, which features many of the athletes reminiscing about their favorite snow day memories.

CREDITS

Client: Nike

Project: North America Cold Weather | "Snow Day"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Creative Directors: Chris Groom, Stuart Brown

Copywriter: Brock Kirby

Art Director: Lee Jennings

Producer: Jeff Selis

Agency Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt

Designers: Edgar Morales, Seth Shelman

Studio Manager: Alicia Kuna

Motion: Sarah Gamazo, Jeff Ackley, Oliver Rokoff, Adam Sirkin

Color, Retouching: Frazer Goodbody, Saskia Thomson

Art Buyer: Grace Petrenka

Digital Production: Patrick Marzullo, Ben Oh, Evelyn Loomis, Jenna Simon

Digital, Social Strategy: Reid Schilperoort

Strategic Planning: Andy Lindblade, Brandon Thornton, Reid Schilperoort

Media, Communications Planning: Daniel Sheniak, Reme DeBisschop, Lisa Feldhusen, Natalie Welch

Account Team: Karrelle Dixon, Corey Woodson, Shinya Kamata

Project Manager: Andrea Nelsen

Business Affairs: Amber Lavender

Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Joe Staples

Production Companies: Biscuit Filmworks; Revolver

Director: Steve Rogers

Executive Producers: Shawn Lacy, Holly Vega, Dana Balkin

Line Producer: Jay Veal

Director of Photography: Alwin Kuchler

First Assistant Director: Craig Owens

Editing Company: Joint Editorial

Editor: Peter Wiedensmith

Assistant Editor: Dylan Sylwester

Post Producer: Jen Milano

Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

Operations Director: Mary Zuleger

Visual Effects Company: The Mission