WHAT: Nike’s latest in its tradition of celebrating historic sports victories as soon as they occur.
WHO: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland.
WHY WE CARE: The Cubs just won the World Series. The last time a person could say that, it was 1908. Television wouldn’t be invented for 19 years, and it’d be more than three decades before the first baseball game was broadcast on TV. The team didn’t even appear in a World Series between 1945 and 2016. To call the team’s win historic is underselling it–entire generations lived and died waiting for someday, and their great-grandchildren only got to hoist the W flag for the first time last night. The series itself was one of the ages, with the twists and drama of a Shondaland series–from the return of injured superstar Kyle Schwarber, who missed the entire season only to enter the lineup as the designated hitter in Game One, to the Cleveland Indians blowing a 3-1 series lead in an eerie parallel of the win the hometown Cavaliers achieved in the NBA in June, to the eighth-inning comeback from Cleveland that tied the game just as the Cubs were rolling–leaving the entire thing to conclude in an extra innings win after a Cubs rally behind Schwarber’s bat.
It’s the sort of thing that’ll feed the memories of the generation that’s growing up never having learned to wait for next year–and, smartly, that’s what Nike chose to celebrate in its ad, which was the first thing to air on Fox as soon as the broadcast cut to commercial following out number three, and the Cubs’ victory, after the bottom of the 10th. In the spot, a little boy in Cubbies blue imagines himself in Wrigley Field as he practices by himself on a dirt lot somewhere in Chicago, while Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” gives way to broadcasts of games from Cubs history. Legendary Cubs announcer–and famous Chicago pitchman–Harry Caray’s voice drops one more “Cubs win! Cubs win! Holy cow!” while the kid runs the bases, and the words “Goodbye Someday” appear on the screen. It’s a fitting tribute to the end of American sports’ longest drought, and to the possibilities Cubs fans get to face with sports’ biggest monkey off its back. What comes after someday? Cubs fans–and the young players who may grow up to be Cubs–will finally get to find out.