U.S. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who will retire after 2023 NWSL season, is entering her fourth and final World Cup 2023. Check it out here.

Megan Rapinoe : Nike commercial | World cup 2023 | Nike ad

Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play and her activism off the pitch. Her precise cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil resulted in an equalizer and eventual win for the Americans after a penalty shootout.

Megan Rapinoe : Nike commercial | World cup 2023 | Nike ad

The last-minute goal received ESPN’s 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year. During the 2012 London Olympics, she scored three goals and tallied a team-high four assists to lead the United States to a gold medal.

She is the first player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner at the Olympic Games, having done so twice.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBTQIA+ organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally.

In 2013, she received the Board of Directors Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Megan Rapinoe Nike commercial 

Megan Rapinoe was 10 when that commercial came out. Today, the soccer star hopes to kick its impact far into the future with her latest project: A 360 MEGAN x NIKE partnership that begins with her own Nike logo, adding a psychedelic V, as in, Victory Redefined, to the famous swoosh.

Megan Rapinoe : Nike commercial | World cup 2023 | Nike ad

Of course, Rapinoe is no stranger to taking victory off the field. Witness her continued advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth and trans athletes, the knees taken in honor of #BlackLivesMatter, and the surprise chat with Alice on The L Word: Generation Q.

Still, removing a scoreboard from the metrics of success seems impossible, especially for a professional athlete who rose to fame because of, well, winning.

For those who grew up in the ’90s, “If you let me play sports” is a soul-seared phrase. We first heard it on TV, where a campaign flashed images of girls just like us—all colors, all sizes, some perched in bows and dresses, others with scraped knees and softball gloves—chanting the benefits of joining a team.

“If you let me play sports, I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me,” one girl says on a swing set. “I will learn what it means to be strong,” another proclaims from her swimming pool. The only branding in the anthem-turned-ad comes at the end when a three-second flash of the Nike swoosh hits the screen.

“I try not to totally live in this zero-sum world,” she explains from the other end of a Zoom screen. It is morning in New York City, and she’s rocking her signature pastel hair, which spikes up against her backlit windows like sharp grass on a playing field. 

Megan Rapinoe World Cup 2023

Megan Rapinoe has won her 200th cap for the United States women’s national team, becoming the 14th American to reach that mark with her appearance in the 3-0 victory over Vietnam at the Women’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.

Megan Rapinoe : Nike commercial | World cup 2023 | Nike ad

Rapinoe came from the bench for the USWNT in the World Cup opener replacing Alex Morgan in the 58th minute.

Sophia Smith scored twice and Lindsey Horan added a goal for the favored Americans against a resilient Vietnam team.

Rapinoe, 38, made her debut with the USWNT in 2006 and has enjoyed a standout career, winning World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019 as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2012.

The OL Reign forward announced earlier this month that she would retire from soccer at the end of the 2023 NWSL season, meaning this will be her final World Cup.

Rapinoe is tied with Abby Wambach for third all-time in assists for the USWNT with 73. Having also scored 63 goals, she is one of only seven players in USWNT history with at least 50 goals and 50 assists.

Nine of her goals have come at World Cups, putting her fourth among U.S. women. In 2019, she became the first American to win the Golden Ball for player of the tournament and the Golden Boot for the competition’s top scorer at the same World Cup.

That same year she was named Best FIFA Women’s Player and won the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

Nike ad

Nike understands a moment. So with live sports taking back their place on TV sets across the country, the athletic brand released a 90-second commercial to coincide.

The spot, titled “You Can’t Stop Us” and narrated by United States women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe, promotes the power of sport.

Rapinoe’s narration focuses on race, equality, the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down sports:

“We’re never alone. And that is our strength. Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther. And harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport.

“We know things won’t always go our way. But whatever it is, we’ll find a way. And when things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change.

“And no matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we can do together.”

Rapinoe, named the Best FIFA Women’s player in 2019 and winner of that year’s Ballon d’Or, narrates a spot about athletes advocating for change and fighting for communities.

It’s also focused on the common elements shared by athletes and how they’ve overcome.

By Rishabh

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