Titled ‘Run With It’, the NFL’s blockbuster Super Bowl LVII spot features an epic game of flag football and pays tribute to women driving the sport forward. Airing right after the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show, the NFL tricked the audience into thinking the spot was filmed live, with Fox Sports anchor Erin Andrews interviewing Diana Flores, the quarterback for Mexico’s national flag football team, “live” on the sideline. During the interview, Erin tries to take Diana’s flag – but she is too fast and takes off.
Created by ad agency 72andSunny, the spot then follows a cast of football players and other celebrities chasing down Diana in a chaotic cat-and-mouse game of flag football, including: YouTuber MrBeast, Diana’s own mother and NFL players past and present, such as Sauce Gardner, Jalen Ramsey, Aidan Hutchinson, Cam Hayward, Davante Adams and Jim Kelly.
Directed by the ‘King of the Super Bowl’, Hungry Man US’ Bryan Buckley, the action-packed chase spills out of State Farm Stadium and onto the streets. As Flores is pursued through a mall, a hotel and across rooftops, the quarterback manages to outmanoeuvre everyone with her impressive speed and athletic ability – and with a little help from fellow iconic women in sport, including tennis legend Billie Jean King and football players Bella Rasmussen and Vanita Krouch.
“We’ve always prided ourselves in creating Super Bowl ads that deliver blockbuster entertainment to fans worldwide, but what’s notable this year is that ‘Run With It’ is rooted in the game of flag football, one of our most important long-term strategies,” said Tim Ellis, NFL’s chief marketing officer. “Flag football is universal, inclusive, fast and fun, and with this creative, we are thrilled to not just elevate ‘flag’, but specifically highlight how women are changing the game, driving the future of football forward and inspiring generations to come.”
Sending an empowering message about the NFL’s commitment to developing flag football, the league shared that the campaign’s frontwoman Diana originally came up through an NFL flag youth development program in Mexico. Known locally as ‘Tochito’, she has helped make it the second most popular sport in northern Mexico, and the sixth overall throughout the country.
Diana has been a member of the Mexico Women’s Flag National Team since 2014 – starting when she was just 16 years old. This year, she led Mexico to a 6-0 record and a gold medal at The World Games, completing 20 of 28 pass attempts for 210 yards and four touchdowns in Mexico’s 39-6 victory in the final. She was also the only starting quarterback to beat the US quarterback -and her co-star in this film – Vanita Krouch, in international tournament play.
“This film is big news for the NFL,” said Zach Hilder, ECD at 72andSunny. “It shows not only our belief, but also our conviction and determination to bring women into the game of football. Our goal is to not only honour those women pushing the game forward today but also inspire the next generation.”
Flag football has become one of the fastest growing youth sports in the US, representing a powerful vehicle for grassroots growth and a game-changing platform for female participation in the sport. There has been a 38% increase in young athletes playing the sport since 2015, now totalling 1.5 million participants aged 6-12 in the States. To grow the sport and encourage female participation, the NFL has partnered with collegiate bodies, helped NFL clubs to develop their youth flag football programs and lobbied successfully to get flag football shortlisted for inclusion at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. If the decision – expected to be made in 2023 – is favourable, it will mark the first time American Football has been included on the Olympics’ official program.