Nike and Wieden + Kennedy film highlights how the Williams sisters have not only changed the sport of tennis but lifted each other up at every step of their journey
Sport has always been about competition. Yes, that includes competing with oneself to improve, but mostly it’s about competing with others to be the best. Nike is rewriting that heritage as a very unusual US Open kicks off. Its new social film, You Can’t Stop Sisters, promotes the power of sport to create camaraderie using Venus and Serena Williams as its examples and citing their combined accomplishments rather than their individual results.
The Nike and Wieden + Kennedy film, which was created using archival footage, highlights how the Williams sisters have not only changed the sport of tennis but lifted each other up at every step of their journey. Contrasting with this, the public has tended to see them as rivals. Venus narrates in the film, “It’s funny. You saw two tennis players trying to win a game. We saw two sisters changing it.”
The new Nike film champions Venus and Serena because they have supported each other as they changed the sport of tennis, not as individuals, but as sisters, mentors, competitors, supporters and advocates.
Serena commented, “I was so excited to get to do this film with Venus. We’ve never been able to collaborate this way before, and it’s really special to have this part of our story told. We were born sisters, but we’ve become each other’s biggest allies. For us, being sisters is everything. On and off the court we’re each other’s biggest competitors, but we’re also each other’s biggest advocates. We are where we are today because we did this together.
“Our power comes from lifting the each other up,” added Serena. “I never root against her, no matter what. Sometimes that’s the toughest part for me: when you always want someone to win but are in a position where you’re trying to beat them. I know it’s the same thing for her. When she beats me, she’s rooting for me as well. That’s the power of our relationship. We want the other to succeed – always.”
The film is running on the brand’s YouTube channel and is the fourth film in Nike and Wieden + Kennedy’s You Can’t Stop Us campaign, which recognises the power of sport to unite and inspire resilience when times are tough.