The Nike 30th anniversary ad campaign has gained international attention for its selection of bold athletes to represent the brand. Among the talented athletes are NFL stars Colin Kaepernick, Odell Beckham, and emerging football inspiration Shaquem Griffin. True to its mission, this advertising campaign is about more than buying cheap Nike shoes online. The “Just Do It” Nike slogan is about being bold, and no one is bolder than Shaquem Griffin, the Seattle Seahawks linebacker who made it pro as the first one-handed athlete in the National Football League.
Defeating the Odds
Including Shaquem Griffin in their uplifting advertising campaign proved how inspiration appeals to Nike’s young customer base. The 30th Anniversary shoes campaign has been popular with young athletes worldwide, with online sneaker sales soaring, and no wonder. The stories behind each athlete inspire youth to dream, no matter how life stacks the cards against them. Shaquem Griffin exemplifies this bold statement.
When Griffin’s mother Tangie Griffin was pregnant with her twin boys, the doctor gave the family tragic news. Due to a very rare condition, a band of membrane was wrapped tightly around the unborn Shaquem’s wrist. The family had a choice to try for surgery, but it would endanger the lives of the twins. Despite the difficult decision, Shaquem’s parents decided that it would be better to have a son with a malformed hand than to lose the boys.
Shaquem was born with a painful malformed left hand. At age four, the parents decided that amputation would be better than seeing their son suffer in pain. Despite his disability, his family decided to treat him the same as his brother, encouraging both boys to pursue sports and eventually NFL football.
An Impressive Career
Griffin went on to succeed in football. He was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and has teamed up with his twin brother Shaquill. The University of Central Florida student joined his brother in the pros this year at the Seattle Seahawks. He is known for his incredible instincts, technique, and speed. Combining intelligence with keen athletic skill are his strongpoints. Admittedly, his physical limitations can cause some minor issues in tackling, but he has an impressive range as a tackler.
Like the other athletes in the Nike ad campaign, Griffin has been an important community advocate. As a college athlete at University of Central Florida, the football player volunteered with the Limbitless Solutions program. This program helps students who need prosthetic limbs. He also takes time to speak with other students with disabilities. His work is not limited to children that have the same physical limitations that he has. Instead, he reaches out to all communities with disabilities.
Nike’s decision to focus on this inspiring and giving athlete in its marketing campaign demonstrates that success is not just about winning a game. It’s about winning at life, giving back, defeating the odds, and working to improve one’s community.