Nike Ripple

Nike Ripple

By Lynn Paszek Posted on Jul 21, 2015

Based on a true story, “Ripple,” a spot for Nike created by the team at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, takes us on the journey of golfer Rory McIlroy and his road to teeing off against his idol Tiger Woods. We got the inside scoop on all the details from the creatives at W+K.

Where did the idea behind the piece originate?
The idea actually started without Rory. We had a kid looking up to Tiger and eventually arriving at a tee box to face off against his idol. This was a nice story, but something didn’t feel honest about it. So we shelved it for a bit, and it took us a while to realize the answer was looking us right in the face. We were telling Rory McIlroy’s real-life story; he literally spent his life looking up to Tiger and years later, now competes against his hero. That’s when it all clicked for us. We had the opportunity to celebrate two great athletes in one true story.

Can you give a general overview on how the piece was produced?
We had two productions: one was for the end scene where both Tiger and Rory are together teeing off in Florida and the other was in Northern Ireland, where Rory grew up.

Honesty was the goal of the entire production. We wanted Rory and Tiger’s story to be as real as possible, because it was. We did extensive research, and Brian McIlroy, Rory’s uncle, was with us throughout the process in Belfast to provide insights and help us stay true to the timeline and story. For example, we learned that Rory actually practiced chipping into his mother’s washing machine. We used his same childhood home for exterior shots and we filmed at golf courses where he actually played growing up, such as the Holywood Golf Club.

The biggest production challenge was finding young Rory look-alikes that can also swing a club like one of the greatest young players ever. After rounds of casting all over the UK and Ireland, we were able to find dead ringers to reenact key moments from Rory’s youth.

What kind of results or response have you seen overall for the campaign?
The most exciting thing was that the spot seemed to cross over and hit on universal emotion; it was quite popular with golf fans and non-fans alike. The truth that even heroes need heroes seemed to resonate with the masses, and it’s evident that we can all see ourselves in Rory’s story.

The timing of the spot couldn’t have been more perfect, as it released the week of the Masters and Rory and Tiger were paired together that week for the first time in a major, and no, we did not plan this. Not only was this timely given the end scene of the film, but during production we discovered that Rory actually wrote a letter to Tiger as a boy saying he would one day meet him on the tee box in competition. If we needed any more validation of this tale’s authenticity, this was it.



DIRECTOR: Steve Rogers

CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Chris Groom / Stuart Brown


PRODUCER: Jeff Selis



AGENCY: Wieden+Kennedy / Portland

CLIENT: Nike Golf


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