It was the first Spanish-language commercial ever broadcast in prime time on a major American network. It was also a powerful message of hope, using the simple joy of the game as its vehicle. The ad featured a group of young boys playing baseball for the joy of it, reminiscent of the sandlot teams found in suburbs all across America. Only these boys were in the Dominican Republic, and they weren’t wearing $60+ Nike gear.
It’s a powerful message of hope for kids that through baseball they can dream.
In the ad, a narrator tells a story in Spanish, about the many major league shortstops that come to American shores from the Dominican Republic dreaming of greatness. Wieden+Kennedy worked with Scott Bedbury, Nike’s director of advertising at the time, on conveying a message that wasn’t so much meant to sell shoes as it was to reflect the joy of the game. The simplicity of it is perhaps its most poignant trait. It’s just a few kids in their element, playing with battered, worn-in equipment, unaffected by the commercialism of the major leagues.