NFL Legend Bjorn Nittmo Kicks US Study In To the Path of Swedish Students
The US Embassy Sweden and the Fulbright Commission have turned to a classic cult figure and former Swedish NFL kicker, 49-year old Bjorn Nittmo, to attract more young Swedes across the Atlantic for college studies. DDB Stockholm launches Nittmo Rebjorn with a two-step online campaign. The first phase of the project was released on 4th August in the form of a short documentary titled ‘Nittmo’
With the NFL gaining rapid momentum in the European pop culture scene in the past few years, DDB and the US Embassy hope the film will make a lasting impact on young Swedish students. For many Swedes, the experience of studying abroad for a year during high school & university is an invaluable life experience. For Bjorn Nittmo, it was life changing. He came to America as an 18-year old exchange student, turning a youth spent on soccer pitches in Sweden into a high school and college varsity sports career before becoming a professional kicker in the National Football League. His fame grew exponentially seeing him make a number of appearances on the David Letterman show and cast in a role in the film ‘Any Given Sunday’. Letterman seemed to be obsessed with the kicker's name at the time and even coined a new catchphrase to both celebrate and mock him: "Who do you think you are, Bjorn Nittmo?"
Retired Kicker, Nittmo comments: “I hope that my story can inspire young people to take a chance and explore new opportunities. It’s important for young adults to experience new environments, learn new things and explore the world.”
Following the documentary, the US Embassy Sweden and the Fulbright Commission will lead a social campaign devised by DDB Stockholm in which they will challenge students to film themselves placekicking an American football as far as they can. Quite simply, the winning kick will provide one lucky Swedish student with the chance to follow in Nittmo’s footsteps in a fully paid-for year-long US study program.
US Ambassador to Sweden, Mark Brzezinski comments: “Bjorn’s story really resonates with the opportunities study in America can offer Swedish students. As countries Sweden and America share values of opportunity, creativity and mutualism and building kind that relationship early on is invaluable. I remember when Nittmo burst on to the NFL scene some years ago. It was an exciting thing to see. Scandinavian players are often the typical build for a kicker; strong and powerful with an agile technique but what was great about Bjorn was that he was also a charming and funny regular on the Letterman show.”
Nittmo discusses the opportunities behind the campaign: “Of course not everyone who does exchange studies here in the US will end up staying for as long as I have, but there’s no doubt that experiencing the different culture and prospects in this country will be invaluable to any student. It’s why I’m so passionate about promoting student exchanges between Sweden and the US”
3,000 Swedes are currently studying in the US throughout high-school, college and university levels. Approximately 4.5 million Americans are of Swedish heritage.
Fulbright Commission and STS Travels are sponsoring the initiative, initiated by the US Embassy Sweden.
Creative Agency: DDB Stockholm
Producers: Mattias Bengtsson, Åsa Ewaldh
Production Company: DDB Stockholm
Sound Mix: Haris Badic
Music Production: Joakim Lilliemarck
Category: Associations , Corporate and social