Sportswear giant Nike (NKE) is looking to use the power of sports to inspire and convey a sense of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic with its newly released film “Never Too Far Down,” narrated by LeBron James.
Joining James in the film is a star-studded cast of sports legends including Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Naomi Osaka, Michael Kunyaga, Paul George, Danny Amendola, Bill Belichick, Elena Delle Donne, Megan Rapinoe, Bebe Vio, Liu Xiang, and Kirk Gibson.
Nike says the movie’s goal is to inspire a sense of togetherness and show how sport is a way to find the power within.
James’ narration sets the tone: “The whole world, we’re fighting for something bigger than a championship right now. People are struggling and this continues to be an incredibly difficult time. For me, thinking forward to a time when we’ll be able to play again, it keeps me going. Even if basketball looks different for a while, I’m excited about the possibility of getting back in the game because I know how inspiring and powerful sports can be. I think the lessons we learn from sport can inspire us all.”
In the film, tennis superstar Serena Williams shares her thoughts on the surreal effect the pandemic has had on her life and career.
“This time has been like nothing else. I mean, I’m no longer playing tennis! No one is. I’ve been playing tennis for over 20 years and never has a tournament been canceled in my career for any reason until now,” she said.
“It’s such a unique time in history right now, with all these global challenges around the COVID virus and how it’s impacting all of us in ways that are the same and also so different. Some athletes are returning to sport, for others – like me – I’m really just getting back into the swing of training,” she added.
Nike itself has been on the comeback trail from the pandemic. On May 15, the Beaverton, Oregon–based company announced that 100% of its company-owned stores and over 95% of its partner stores in China and South Korea are open — though some are operating on reduced hours.
To keep people engaged during COVID-19, the swoosh brand has invited athletes everywhere to “play inside and play for the world.” The brand tells Yahoo Finance that it is striving to help athletes stay active while at home through its digital platforms and tools such as the Nike App, Nike Running Club App, and Nike Training Club App, which it is offering for free in the U.S. It’s also offering online workouts on its YouTube channel.
“Never Too Far Down” can be seen on Nike’s digital channels, social media platforms, and on YouTube.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.