Saluting England’s World Cup Run, Nike Honors a New Era of Teamwork and Hope

Wieden+Kennedy London marks fourth-place finish as a beginning, not an end

Not for one, for all. Nike Football
Headshot of Doug Zanger

By all accounts, England’s men’s soccer team wasn’t expected to do much in the World Cup. Pundits figured an early exit was in the cards. However, buoyed by a youth movement and a head coach who tempered expectations, the Three Lions were agonizingly close to bringing the trophy back to the country, which would have been its first win since 1966.

Finishing fourth usually doesn’t result in celebration but, by going far above what was expected, “Believe As One,” a new Nike film from Wieden+Kennedy London, illustrates the promise of England’s new generation of stars. This comes from the classic Nike/W+K inspirational school and features a few perfectly punctuated, passive pokes at previous generations of English soccer, which was perceived as less of a team and more about individual endeavor (see: David Beckham).

“The greatest teams aren’t built on ego or pride,” says the narrator. “They’re about putting your dreams in someone else’s hands and trusting they’ll carry them through.”

It’s a lovely sentiment, an accurate assessment of the team and also works in breaking down the English generational tradition of unreasonable expectations and cynicism around their men’s team. Yes, hope springs from the feet of a talented group, but its the notion of the collective that may get them to one step farther in the next World Cup in four years.


Client: Nike
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London
Creative Directors: Paddy Treacy, Mark Shanley
Creatives: Ben Shaffery, Max Batten
Producer: Richard Adkins

Production: Pulse Films
Director: Sam Pilling
Executive Producer: James Sorton
Producer: Alistair Payne-James
D.P.: Deepa Keshvala
1st AD: Ben Gill
Wardrobe Stylist: Grace Zito
2nd Unit Director:Hector Dockrill
2nd Unit Producer: David French
2nd Unit D.P.: Nick Morris

Casting Director: Kharmel Cochrane

Editorial: Stitch
Editor: Paul O’Reilly

Colorist: Simon Bourne

Audio: 750MPH
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.