Nike Shows Off All Of The Words That Define Serena Williams

The greatest athlete of her generation–or maybe any other–gets honored by showing off the words that define the icon.

Nike Shows Off All Of The Words That Define Serena Williams

WHAT: The latest spot in Nike’s “Unlimited” campaign.

WHO: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland

WHY WE CARE: Serena Williams is a lot of things to a lot of people, and her career–which the world has been watching since she emerged as a star as a teenager in the ’90s–has been defined by a number of words. She’s defined by “Sister,” “Outsider,” “Winner”; also by “Paris,” “London,” “New York,” “Melbourne,” the sites of the four victories in her 2002 “Serena Slam.” She’s been “Injured” and “#136,” but, as her performance last year drove home, “Greatest Female Athlete Of All Time” isn’t even big enough to encapsulate her. The spot flashes all of those words, over an instrumental score that captures the ups and downs of Williams’ remarkable career, to tell her story in the broadest strokes possible, all without ever showing her face until the final seconds. It doesn’t need to–when you’re dealing with a legend like Serena Williams, you can tell her story just by listing the cities she’s won, the rankings she’s had, and the titles she’s earned, and this ad from Nike–and an accompanying tribute video from other superstars–makes that clear.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.



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