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Volume 26 No. 207
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Nike Releases New Ad, Jerseys To Celebrate USWNT's Fourth Title

Nike is among the early winners of the USWNT claming its fourth Women's World Cup title, as the company's jerseys are "selling out on its website and buzz around its latest ad campaign taking over the internet," according to Lauren Thomas of CNBC.com. A Nike spokesperson said that by this morning, a special jersey dropped by Nike of the USWNT's jersey with four stars had already "sold out in many sizes for women, men and kids." Nike Chair, President & CEO Mark Parker has said previously that the USWNT's home jersey had "already become the top-selling soccer jersey, for both men and women, ever sold on Nike's website in one season." Nike said that jersey sales have "surged 200% compared with the last tournament" in '15. The company also said that sales of women's apparel "related to the tournament are up more than 150%" compared to '15. As Nike's new Women's World Cup merchandise sales are "skyrocketing," the company has "provided more fuel for the ongoing debate around the fact that female soccer players are still being paid less than men." After Sunday's final, Nike "aired a new ad for the women's soccer team, hinting at some of these frustrations" over equal pay. Nike pulls in less than a quarter of its sales from women today, and the company said that the "momentum from the World Cup gives it a nice boost and sets the stage for its initiatives for the remainder of the year" (CNBC.com, 7/8).

THEY BELIEVE: ADWEEK's Doug Zanger noted the language in Nike's new 60-second spot is "more direct in what this championship means beyond women's soccer." The "Never Stop Winning" ad, by Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, "celebrates the achievement and impact of the players off the field with simple messages including, 'We will keep fighting not just to make history, but to change it forever,' and 'This team wins. Everyone wins.'" The ad "singling out" F Megan Rapinoe "shows Nike is, to some degree, walking the walk in supporting athletes' beliefs" (ADWEEK.com, 7/7). In Portland, Tim Brown noted the black-and-white ad "continues to juxtapose images of young girls" with stars from the USWNT (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/7). In K.C., Pete Grathoff wrote Nike uses the "I Believe" chant in the ad as a "rallying cry for equal rights for women that go beyond the soccer field." Grathoff: "It's a great ad" (KANSASCITY.com, 7/7). USA TODAY's Steve Gardner wrote the ad "sends a powerful message of believing in oneself" (USATODAY.com, 7/7).

STAR POWER: CBSSPORTS.com's Pete Blackburn noted Nike also "unveiled a special jersey" immediately following the USWNT's win. The commemorative uniform features a "fourth star on the crest to celebrate the fourth World Cup victory." Each star "represents a World Cup win for the USWNT," for '91, '99, '15 and '19. The jersey also features "Champions" with the number 19 on the back (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/7).