Katie Sowers, the first woman and first LGBTQ person to coach in a Super Bowl game, will not only be on the field Sunday; she’ll be in a Microsoft ad as well.
The 60-second commercial “Be the One” honors Sowers, an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers, for breaking ground for women in football, although it doesn’t mention her lesbian identity. It shows her talking about her lifelong love for the sport, playing football, and interacting with 49ers players.
“People tell me that people aren’t ready to have a woman lead, but these guys have been learning from women their whole lives,” Sowers says, noting the role of mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and others. She notes that she doesn’t want to be the best female coach, but the best coach, while challenging assumptions about what women can do.
“All it takes is one, and then it opens the door for so many,” she concludes. The ad then shows other women and girls participating in football, and the words “Thanks Katie for being the one” appear on the screen at the end.
Earlier in January, during the NFL playoffs, Sowers was featured in a shorter Microsoft ad, for its Surface Pro 7 laptop computer, which coaches and players use in planning game strategy, CNBC reports. Surface is the NFL’s “official laptop.”
The Microsoft Super Bowl commercial is part of what’s being dubbed a “rainbow wave” of LGBTQ-inclusive advertising set for the game. Other brands that will air such ads include Pop-Tarts, Sabra, Doritos, TurboTax, Olay, and Alexa.
The upcoming “rainbow wave” has already elicited a right-wing backlash. One Million Moms — an arm of the hate group American Family Association — has petitioned to ban Sabra for showcasing drag queens in its ad. In response, GLAAD petitioned One Million Moms, a frequent but ineffectual boycotter of LGBTQ-inclusive ads and entertainment, to call it quits.
Watch the Microsoft ad below.