NIKE : CHAMPIONS CRY
Exploring masculinity and vulnerability in sports. Inspired by the image of Michael Jordan crying, I wanted to explore the perception of vulnerability in elite atheletes.
Michael Jordan vs Magic Johnson
Chicago Bulls vs LA Lakers
Two players recognised as the best of their eras, competing against each other for the very first time. Magic was the respected veteran, while Michael was the younger player eager to cement his status. The sports media criticised Michael Jordan’s playing style. He was lacking team leadership despite being a top scorer, unlike the unselfish approach of Magic Johnson, one of the all-time leaders in assists.
It was a seven-year struggle to the championship finals, with three coaches fired in five years. The newly hired coach Phil Jackson helped The Bulls finally accomplish that goal.
It wouldn’t be easy as The Bulls lost their first game of five on their home court. Through teamwork and a great defensive strategy to guard Magic, The Bulls won the remaining four games.
While Michael still created game highlights, he gave John Paxson the winning shot. The Bulls won their first NBA championship. With leadership and unflinching will, Michael inspired many and cemented his legacy.
We can always improve if we choose to.
The British Open
Tiger Woods lost his father a couple months before. Earl's coaching and guidance helped him nurture his gift since he was a child. His influence was undeniable.
Yet even with his father’s passing, Tiger remained calm. He played at the high level his fans know him for. Tiger was cool and collected on the course, walking with a silent confidence.
Tiger commented that as he played, he felt his father was with him. He won the Open Championship tournament, becoming the 135th winner. His first championship win without his father.
Tiger solidified himself as one of the golfing greats, ending his win with an emotional embrace with his caddy. It was a moving moment after an incredible performance.
Even with loss, we can still win.
Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic
A storied rivalry in tennis, with Nadal and Djokovic having previously played each other eleven times. Two of the best tennis players in the world battled in the 2014 French Open final. It was a spirited back and forth with Novak Djokovic, lasting over three hours.
The King of Clay always acknowledged the skill of his rival. When asked who could stop him he replied maybe Djokovic. Both players respected the other and pushed them to their limits.
Recognised for his pit bull, aggressive style of play and strong mentality, The King of Clay beat Djokovic in four sets, winning the French Open for the ninth time.
After a competitive game between the two players, Nadal walked up to the podium to collect his trophy and proudly lift it high to the cheers of the crowd as they chanted his name.
Through adversity we can find strength.
A playful campaign that exaggerates how polarizing marmite is.