Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm going to make it to the Major Leagues!

“There is a time when all that is better is before us. A time of hope, hope fastened to a game. Hope not so much to be the best to ever play the game, but simply to stay in the game and ride it wherever it goes. Just do it.” ~Nike

The sports field has become a source of excitement, dreams, expectations, and hopes throughout our world. As children, everyone tends to have that one athlete that we look up to, idolize, and want to be like when we grow up. For me, I always wished that I could play soccer like Mia Hamm, shoot hoops like Michael Jordan, throw a football like Tom Brady, and hit homeruns like Big Papi (David Ortiz). They were my heroes because they were in the lime light-they were famous, talented, and popular. I wanted to have their talent, lead the team, and be the star. 

Don’t we all?

                Well, obviously, every child cannot become the Mia Hamms and Tom Bradys of the world. Not everyone can be the hero that scores the winning basket in the game or runs fifty yards for a touchdown with one minute to go. The world of professional sports would be nonexistent if this was the case. 

                But there is always that dream, that desire, that possibility, that hope that maybe, just maybe, I could be the one to make it; that if I work hard enough, practice enough, run myself into the ground enough, I could be the one to make it to the Major Leagues, the NBA, the NCAA, the World Cup, or the Olympics. Most young athletes have hope that they will one day become someone great. However, our world tends to shoot down these hopes and dreams, telling kids not to get their hopes up, for they will only be broken in the years to come. Kids work so hard and it amounts to nothing because the world finds value only in people that are worthy of fame, excellence, and popularity.

                Nike, one of the leading sports corporations in the world, uses a variety of ways to advertise to a wide array of people, from kids and teens, to professionals and even the general public. However, one of its key advertising components is its ability to play on the hopes and dreams of young kids to succeed in their athletic dreams. I love this commercial that Nike created:

This commercial gives kids hope to not necessarily succeed at being the best player to play the sport, but instead to focus on being the best they can be wherever their lives take them. Nike uses this commercial to give kids, and even adults, the idea that they do not have to be famous, popular, or the best to succeed in sports or even life. This idea that kids can be athletically successful also motivates them to continue to get involved in athletics in their schools, towns, and communities. 

When kids get involved in sports, what do they do? Well, they most definitely buy sports gear so that they can play the game! 

Where do they go to buy sports gear? They go to Nike! Because Nike is the trustworthy sports corporation that has given them hope that they can be who they want to be to be successful in the world.

Nike boosts these kids up, sparking them to play the game, to go after their dreams, to be the best they can be…and to use its products, because if Nike believes kids can play the game, then certainly its products will help them succeed at the game. It is the truth, now isn’t it?

It is interesting to see the vast amount of ways that the advertising world manipulates the general public. Now, I do not think Nike is necessarily manipulative in a bad way. I believe that Nike supports and believes the statements that it made in its commercial about kids not needing to amount to anything more than who they are. I don’t think Nike would use something in advertising that it didn’t support or believe in. However, the plus that comes with the advertisement is the monetary benefit and publicity that comes with it. In a way, the general public falls captive to the traps that the Nike, and the rest of the advertising world, sets for us. They play on our raw emotions, our desires, our dreams, and our hopes in life, all of which are important. The advertisers know this and play upon it, but we also allow them to do so. 

This is not necessarily a bad thing; it can be, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as we have the knowledge and are not completely clueless as to allow advertisers to manipulate us. In my opinion, Nike presents an appropriate, positive, and influential means of advertising because not only does it succeed in advertising its products, but it also adheres to a younger generation that is in need of hope, guidance, and encouragement. Nike uses its popularity and fame to effectively and positively influence the public. Our world would be a better place if all advertisers focused on the influencing the community for the better through their advertisements.

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