Nike has introduced the company’s latest addition to its “Play New” campaign, soccer player Mara Gomez, who is the first trans woman to play in Argentina’s professional league.
In the 60-second ad, Gomez is seen practicing her soccer skills, working out, laughing, and flexing for the camera. The ad also features her discussing the impact the sport has had on her life.
“Today I’m the first professional transgender player in Argentina,” she says. “And it was not easy, because I didn’t have a role model to follow. So it’s my turn to open the door for the athletes to come.”
At the end of the ad, soccer balls fall like rain from the sky around Gomez, and “she watches in wonder, as if seeing the future generation she will inspire,” AdAge writes.
In a blog post for the ad, Gomez says soccer helped her deal with everyday situations.
“Soccer was good for me, it was an environment of distraction and emotional containment. I saw that it could be a tool to overcome barriers, obstacles, and things I was experiencing on a daily basis,” she says.
Gomez says her next challenge is to de-binarize FIFA regulations. “And on a personal level, I would like to wear the colors of our country in a World Cup. And if it’s not with me, it doesn’t matter, let it be with someone else, but let it happen,” she says.
“Soccer is a scenario of visibility where all people can manifest themselves.”
Nike’s “Play New” campaign started over the summer and features history-making athletes finding joy in their sports.
Gomez’s inclusion in the campaign is not the first time Nike has highlighted a transgender athlete in an ad. Chris Mosier, the first out trans athlete to compete for the U.S. men’s national team at the Olympics, appeared in a 2016 ad for the company’s “Unlimited” campaign.