Nike ad puts World Cup superstars in a Pixar-like 'toon -- VIDEO

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On June 12, host-country Brazil meets Croatia in the first match of the FIFA World Cup, ushering in a month of sports insanity that will likely even penetrate the American sports consciousness — no matter how much we want to snub the sport of soccer. (Er, football.) You know how the NFL likes to boast that its Super Bowl is viewed by more than a billion people? Well, that’s a complete myth. But the World Cup final on July 13 will be the most watched television program of the year around the globe. Four years ago, the championship match between Spain and Netherlands in South Africa was viewed on TV by an estimated 700 million people. There’s a reason it’s called The World’s Game.

So get ready to learn all about Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar Jr, LeBron-level superstars in the planet’s most popular sport. Nike, which generates nearly $2 billion each year in soccer-related revenue, recently unveiled a glorified commercial for their “Risk Everything” campaign, featuring animated versions of their most popular players. It was conceived and produced by Nike and their advertising agencies, but it feels like a Pixar short, with a nefarious villain who wants to clone some of the world’s best players and “improve” them by stripping them of their penchant for beautiful risk-taking.

It’s a perfect — and presumably expensive — bauble in Nike’s “Risk Everything” campaign, and not the worst introduction to World Cup madness. Even Tim Howard, who will likely start in goal for the Americans when they face Ghana on June 16, gets a spot on Nike’s Incredibles-like team.

Watch the clip below:

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