Cannes Lions

This Is How We Play


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The Context/Situation: Baseball needs kids more than kids needs baseball. Especially Black and Brown kids, who are more likely to be left behind in a pay-to-play competitive reality and uncompelled by a sport that’s been stripped of its color and personality.

The Objectives/Brief: Bring imagination and energy to the diamond by celebrating its future.

The Problem: The category focuses on elite athletes dominating the sport by following its rules instead of celebrating the everyday athletes playing the game their way.


For Major League Baseball (the MLB), baseball is business as usual. But for Black and Brown youth, it’s stickball and streetball; a game with no rules, and a game no one rules. It’s how you choose to play together.

“This Is How We Play” celebrates how culture changes the game with real passion and undeniable progress. This film gives a glimpse into the youth the game has left behind while showcasing how they play the game in their own unique way.

We played with the norms of the game to make our point, hijacking the famous 7th inning stretch sing-a-long “Take me out to the ballgame.” We reimagined the song with the same IDGAF attitude young players have about the MLB’s conventions, leaning into the “I don’t care if I ever go back” lyric. And for the final punctuation mark, our CTA is the reclaiming statement “We’re Up.”


Our audience is the 12-16 year old Black and Brown baseball and softball players who love the game but don’t give a fuck for the league. They are diamond sport’s future, playing the game with imagination and defiance.

The Insight: Real culture moves sport forward.

The Strategic Idea: There’s damage to be done on the diamond.


We took the biggest moment in Baseball, The 2021 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros. A social-only launch, we intentionally stayed away from TVC and CTV; and we didn’t use influencers and paid partnerships to ensure 100% authenticity to the message and Nike’s connection to youth.


Our work did damage in social and within the walls of Nike HQ.

Within the first 2 weeks, our film notched 18M views across social media and reached 123M people (impressions).

While views are important, completion rates matter more. And our completion rate was 50% higher than the Nike NBA Tip-Off creative that launched around the same time. It’s worth repeating: Nike Diamond pulled 50% more completions than the Nike NBA work, and the NBA is most relevant league to young people.

And when we celebrated the Atlanta Braves win through the youth of Atlanta playing the game their way, we achieved 2M video views and 10M impressions, with one in five watching the film through to completion.

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