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Nike has launched a new campaign for the new year 2012 called ‘Make it Count’; the campaign features elite British Nike athletes through black and white portraits with their own handwriting below the image to bring a personal angle to their individual pledges.

The portraits are in partnership with a series of online films directed by Joe Roberts, which explores each Nike athletes’ drive to achieve their goals in 2012. The whole campaign is spread with the hashtag #makeitcount and was launched on New Year’s eve.

The project is the work of Wieden + Kennedy London and AKQA, the series of posters in “Make it Count’ are shot by photographer Adam Hinton, and capture the athletes during intense training moments. The portraits will also be on show in Nike’s 1948 store in London’s Shoreditch from January 18th. Hinton says “”We wanted to show the sheer hard work and determination these athletes put into the sports they love,” says Hinton of the images. “To be at the top of their game requires enormous amounts of blood, sweat and tears and they train hard, pushing themselves to the limit to get there.”” (via Creative Review).

The images will also appear in-store at Nike’s other flagship stores in Westfield, Stratford, and Oxford Street; shoppers will be able to have their own portraits taken with their handwritten pledges, bringing a personal translation to the project.

No direct reference is made to the Olympics, although the link is obvious from the headline to the 2012 call to action, and the fact that only UK athletes are featured in the portraits and ads.

The list of athletes taking part is impressive; Rio Ferdinand pledged he has ‘More to Learn. Plenty to teach,’ whilst male distance runner, Mo Farah plans to push himself harder with ‘Don’t dream of winning. Train for it’. Other athletes involved include Paula Radcliffe, Wayne Rooney and Steve Cram among a range of new faces and young hopefuls.

The work has been received in a range of ways, from appreciation for the striking imagery and impactful portraits to questions over the integrity of the campaign – are all the messages really the handwritten pledges of the athletes, or are they just set up?

The campaign has a very social media based strategy as well as strong visuals, and all the participating athletes and their pledges and Twitter names are included for interaction.

Perri Shakes Drayton
Perri Shakes Drayton

Below are the participating athletes and their pledges:

Rio Ferdinand – @rioferdy5 – ‘More to Learn. Plenty to teach.’

Jack Wilshere – @JackWilshere – ‘Come back for club. Prove it for country.’

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – @Alex_OxChambo – ‘2012 is all about turning potential into performance – every single day.’

Josh McEachran – @JMcEachran20 – ‘It’s easy to be a prospect. I’ll battle to break through.’

Wojciech Szczesny – @13Szczesny13

Mark Albrighton – @12Albrighton

Rafa Van Der Vaart – @afvdvaart

Aaron Lennon – @AaronLennonpsl

Adam Johnson – @Ajohno_11

Glen Johnson – @glen_johnson

Anton Ferdinand – @anton_ferdinand

Ross Barkley – @RBarkley20

Mo Farah – @mo_farah – ‘Don’t dream of winning. Train for it.’

Paula Radcliffe – @paulajradcliffe – ‘Nearly isn’t enough’

Perri Shakes Drayton – @shakesdrayton – ‘Walk to the stadium. Sprint to the finish.’

Dai Greene – @daigreene – ‘Train hard, stay focused and do all those bits I need to do to and be at my peak this year.’

Jodie Williams – @JodiAlicia27

Hannah England – @hannengland – ‘I will run every rep and nail every session to be prepared for every race in 2012.’

Charlie Dark (Run Dem Crew) – @daddydark

Steve Cram – @jarrowarrow

Andy Turner – @andyturner110h

Greg Rutherford – @GregRutherford

Martyn Rooney – @MartynRooney – ‘I’m going to maintain focus; everything will then fall into place in 2012.’

Jack Green – @jackpgreen – ‘I’ll fill out, speed up and close down on my training partner.’

Charlotte Purdue – @CharliePurdue

Holly Bleasdale – @HollyBleasdale

Mark Cavendish – @MarkCavendish – ‘Remain the fastest. Become the greatest.’

Harry Main – @HarrymainBMX

Jamie Nicholls – @JamieNichollsuk – ‘Win more competitions, making banging video parts, better climber and magician.’

Alex Kennedy – @uhhalexk

Jonathan Weaver – @Jonathan_Weaver – ‘More snowboarding, more surfing, more running, more yogaing, more watching Swansea, more good times to come!’

Ben Foden – @ben_foden – ‘The tougher the yards, the sweeter the victory. The hard work never stops.’

Toby Flood – @tobyflood

Chris Ashton –@chrisashton1

Danny Care – @dannycare – ‘Earn respect. Earn the shirt. Set the example.’

Sam Tomkins – @samtomkins1

Faye White – @faye_white – ‘Leading – and learning from – my squad to achieve greater things in 2012.’

Ellen White – @ellsbells89

Jane Wake – @JaneWake – ‘In 2012 I will climb another mountain and conquer my fears. Think strong to be strong.’

Joslyn Thompson – @fitgirltweets – ‘I AM the focused athlete that WILL qualify for the Crossfit Games 2012, nothing will stop me!’

Jemma Simpson – @jemmasimpson – ‘I will make my personal best better. If I can do it, u can do it.’

Sonja Moses – @SonjaMoses – ‘I’m gonna smash my training regularly & rest accordingly (not very good at the rest part!)’

Jamie Stumpe – @Jamie_Stumpe – ‘Going to up my running game & achieve new PBs for a half marathon & 10km.’

Jon Denoris –@JonDenoris – ‘I pledge to focus hard on improving my sparq rating in 2012.’

Nicole Cooke – @NicoleCooke2012