Welcome to London:
Nike London has recently released the video “Nothing Beats a Londoner”, getting under the skin of the city and showcasing the talent that lurks in and around the city’s urban corners. The ad highlights the vibrancy and diversity of the London community as well as recognises the young people that continuously strive under any given condition. The young Londoners show a rigid commitment to sport and an unbeatable spirit when acting out a series of sporting activities. They describe the hurdles that they face when they play the sport that they love in their beloved capital city.
“Nothing Beats a Londoner” is looking to inspire others to continue shaping the sport and lifestyle culture of their capital. The three-minute video is a short tour of the city in which energetic and confident Londoners use their urban environment as a creative playground and a means for self-expression and movement. Acting alongside the capital’s top sporting stars such as Mo Farah, Harry Kane and Dina Asher-Smith, as well as prominent members from London’s culture scene such as Skepta, Dave, Giggs and AJ Tracey, the young and aspiring sporting youths take turns to display their excellence on the pitch, court, ice-rink, ring and the urban streets.
Londoners will know about the neighbourhoods featured in the short film and will recognise their local buses driving by in the background. Did anyone else spot the 67? Areas such as Dalston, Peckham and Brixton are the lively and vivid backdrop for the 258 kids and teenagers in this video. It is the city that unites them and their neighbourhood, and even if they’re trying to one-up each other, they still represent the great culture that has introduced by the new generation of the youth.
Nike London wants to improve the creative and sporting playgrounds for London’s youth. This would push them towards creating unique experiences that would in turn help them unlock and realise their potential through the power of sport. This half-term week, between Friday 9th and Sunday 18th February, has been turned into a celebration of sports by Nike London. Over the week 75 professional athletes will go and meet communities to interact and inspire the young Londoners.
So why do we Londoners love “Nothing Beats a Londoner”? Let’s get into the specifics. It opens at a local off license with the song of 2015, Skepta’s “Shutdown”. The Grime MC tells his phone buddy that he’s not cycling to see him, and that’s when our first young Londoner pops up from behind to tell him that what he’s complaining about is “light work”. Ah, we all felt that one.
Then, as another kid talks about running 6 miles to school with his enormous backpack, a girl pops out of it and exclaims “I have to run through Peckham, at night!”. Quick zoom into another local location that every Londoner knows too well – the chicken and chip shop – and Giggs is questioning what the hell in the world could be wrong with Peckham. That one cut straight to the feels for some too.
The camera then goes onto to pan through London with various lightning fast cuts, some bonkers animations and increasingly bizarre scenarios. Kurupt FM jump on the decks to commentate on a football match, and then we get to see Michael Dapaah (aka Big Shaq) cry over failure to make a meaningful bond with Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi before waking up to Mo Farah standing in his bedroom. It still all sounds a bit mad right? A fractured nose, a broken bike and a very chilly swim in the river later and Dizzee Rascal comes in booming “your friend’s saying that I’m trouble / I can’t lie, I was raised in the struggle”.
The struggle is what makes London. In a series of exclusive interviews for the film, elite athletes answered questions about London. Harry Kane said that ‘London is competitive. It’s busy. It’s hard to make your mark sometimes,’ going on to mention that ‘young Londoners have this natural in-built self-belief. It’s not an easy path, but they graft, and they grind it out.’ Rap legend Giggs said that ‘the sky is the limit now,’ former Arsenal and England striker said that you need to ‘constantly seek to better yourself’, musician Ray BLK said ‘nothing is forced. Everything is authentic,’ and Ryan Sessegnon, England U-19 International, rather beautiful said that ‘there’s something about people in London… we dream.’
Many have voiced their adoration for the video because it is based on real Londoners and their real experiences. It’s the kind of raw energy that we’re used to seeing our neighbours show when taking part in the massive range of activities available all around the city. It speaks our language and gives the community a voice through which they can channel their unbeatable energy and uncut confidence. The young Londoners display the kind of confidence that professional athletes have, and that’s why it was so important for Nike to celebrate and highlight this initial grind that every aspiring U.K. athlete goes through.
The city takes pride in being sports and work obsessed, and Nike hopes that promoting this lively and creative sporting community will help kids feel more inclined to participate in sporting and cultural events around their city. The film is an ode to the metropolis, to the culture, to its athletes and its youth. It is the proper salute to the cultural diversity, and yet joint identity, that makes London the greatest city in the world. And this… this might be the greatest advert yet.