Sports—unlike, say, advertising—are built on the idea of unpredictable outcomes. Of course there are untold hours dedicated to talking about, and betting on, anticipated results—but ultimately you just never know.
Take the opening day of the 2020 U.S. Open: To make the occasion, American teen tennis pro Coco Gauff starred in her own New Balance commercial, declaring her the star of the next generation. This followed a similar turn for Microsoft last week. But having a perfect ad doesn’t provide immunity from the reality of competition, and Gauff was unceremoniously bounced from the Open yesterday by Anastasija Sevastova.
Still, there’s little reason for one bad result to get in the way of a good story, right? As part of its ongoing “We Got Now” campaign, New Balance isn’t betting on the wins and losses of today, but in Gauff’s potential as a leader both on and off the court. New Balance comes right out and says it here, “She’s not just here to climb the rankings. She’s here to lead the next generation.”
As “Offence” by Little Simz plays in the background, we see Gauff playing tennis of course, but also plenty of artsy lifestyle shots, with a nod to the new model of athlete activism. As Gauff says, “No matter how big or small your platform is, you need to use your voice.”
With “We Got Now,” New Balance has been stylishly and aggressively pushing a distinctly not-just-for-hipster-dads vibe, with cool spots starring L.A. Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, track star Sydney McLaughlin, and now Gauff.
This new ad comes on the same day Nike debuted a new spot highlighting the illustrious careers of the Williams sisters. As the swoosh celebrates the past, not-so subtly invoking its own longevity, here New Balance is serving up Gauff as its advertising ace of the future.