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NFL’s Super Bowl Ad Shines Light on Growing Flag Football Phenomenon

The two-minute spot during the big game spotlighted flag football star Diana Flores while also featuring spots from Erin Andrews, Sauce Gardner, and Jalen Ramsey, among others.

Sure, tackle football garners the attention of millions between the months of August and February every year. But there’s a growing infatuation with flag football, and the NFL is quickly taking note. So much so that the league dedicated a Super Bowl LVII commercial on Sunday night during the big game to flag football.

The “Run With It” campaign focuses on youth and women’s involvement in the activity and features Diana Flores, Mexico Women’s National Flag Football team quarterback and, most recently, AFC offensive coordinator at the NFL Pro Bowl.

Created by 72andSunny, the two-minute spot tricked viewers into thinking it was filmed in real-time, as Fox Sports anchor Erin Andrews interviews Flores “live” on the sideline from State Farm Stadium and, during the interview, tries to take Flores’ flag. But Flores is too fast, dodging a host of famous faces to avoid her flag being ripped off the harness.

The star-studded ad includes cameos from newly crowned Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner (New York Jets), Cam Heyward (Pittsburgh Steelers), Jalen Ramsey (Los Angeles Rams), Aidan Hutchinson (Detroit Lions), Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, and influencers like YouTube star MRBEAST. Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams is even disguised as a parrot, sliding down the escalator in an attempt to grab Flores’ flags.

NFL Flag Football
Courtesy of the NFL

The quarterback manages to evade all of them with her impressive speed, and she is assisted by some powerful icons on her side, like tennis legend Billie Jean King, US Women’s National Flag Football team quarterback Vanita Krouch, and the first female tackle football player with a NIL deal Bella Rasmussen. The spot ends with the line: “To the women pushing football forward, we can’t wait to see where you take this game.”

“I started playing flag football when I was 8 years old, and the sport was not that popular in my native Mexico City, so I didn’t really have a role model to follow in her footsteps, because my sport was supposed to be just for men,” Flores told Boardroom. “So this was truly a blessing to star in this ad, and I hope this commercial keeps inspiring and reminding girls and women that we are powerful, we are smart and we are capable of doing anything we want. We’re superheroes.”

As AFC offensive coordinator at the Pro Bowl, Flores was tasked with the play-calling for the first-ever flag football showdown. Featuring the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Tyreek Hill, and Nick Chubb, she revealed to Boardroom the best parts of her glass-shattering role.

“I mean, it is a dream to be able to work with NFL legends like Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis while sharing the field with some of the best players in the NFL. To be able to contribute my knowledge and experience in terms of the flag football playbook and strategy was an honor.

“Second, I think this signals a breakpoint for women in football and sports because it is also the first time a woman gets to coach in the Pro Bowl. So I think we’re breaking a lot of barriers while doing this, especially in terms of inclusion. I’d like the world to realize that what really matters is not the gender or nationality, but rather your passion, your hard work, your discipline, and determination.”

The “Run With It” ad was directed by two-time Oscar nominee Bryan Buckley. Dubbed the “King of the Super Bowl,” Buckley has directed 68 Super Bowl commercials, working with brands like BMW, Microsoft, and Cheetos throughout his decades-long career.

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today and, most recently, Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.