Homage To A Gridiron Hero

To promote its football gear on TV, online and in print, Nike harnassed to the power of story, creating a fictional high school football dream team–the Briscoe Hawks–and tapping pro football history, all in one fell swoop.
The Briscoe Hawks, coached by Don Shula, are named for Marlin Briscoe, the first starting black quarterback of the modern era. Briscoe appears in the campaign as a coach along with Jimmy Johnson and current NFL players Michael Vick (Atlanta), LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego), Brian Urlacher (Chicago), Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh), and Matt Leinart (Arizona).
Friday night football has a storied place in our collective psyche. Nike’s effort to tap into that rich muck, and Wieden’s dramatic star-studded presentation lead one to weigh the significance of the game, and by extension the need for performance-enhancing gear.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.