PORTLAND -- The ads inspire. A chubby boy huffs and puffs down a country road. He lives in London, Ohio, a series of namesake towns in a Nike and Wieden+Kennedy collaboration called "Find your greatness."
"He really embodies what this campaign is all about," said Nike's Kejuan Wilkins, "which is to celebrate the accomplishments that all athletes achieve, regardless of obstacles they face and what have you. We believe at Nike that if you have a body, you are an athlete."
In the ads, another child fields a ground ball and makes a throw to first. He has only one hand.
The boy running down the road is 5 foot 3-inch, 200 pound Nathan Sorrell. The 11-year-old was told by his principal what kind of models the ad was after.
"Heavier set like me," the middle-schooler recalled, "Doesn't enjoy running a lot. So it wasn't really hard to do the part because I don't like running that much."
The effort her son put into making the ad makes mom proud.
"Nathan really has trouble running, he doesn't like to run," said Monica Sorrell, "To see how hard he worked for this, I was very proud."
Mother and son now plan to begin a joint diet and exercise program.
As the ad intones while Nathan plods down the country road, "greatness is no more unique to us than breathing . . . we're all capable of it, all of us."