Nike continues to raise the bar by stepping outside the box to bring attention to social challenges that often go unnoticed. The shoe giant was one of the few large corporations willing to take a stand on social justice last year. In 2018, Nike also tipped the iceberg with an ad campaign led by Colin Kaepernick who was considered a controversial figure at the time.
Now in the midst of Women’s History Month, Nike is celebrating the impact of black women in sports and other industries with their ‘We Play Real’ film.
Narrated by actress and playwright Dominique Fishback, the minute-long video aims to highlight the accomplishments of black female athletes and performers while “celebrating their resilience to lead the world forward,” said Nike in a press release.
Athletes spotlighted in the film include WNBA players Jewell Lloyd, Natasha Cloud, Seimone Augustus, and Sheryl Swoopes, as well as tennis champions Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, NWSL player Crystal Dunn, Olympic runner Sha’Carri Richardson, and more.
The film also references instances in which these women have used their platform to promote racial justice, such as the time Naomi Osaka drew attention to the killing of Breonna Taylor by wearing a mask adorned with her name on day one of the U.S. Open in September.
Coinciding with the video, Nike is rolling out a social media campaign designed to elevate black voices. Through the social campaign, NBA athletes will use their Instagram handles to support black women who are impacting sports and society:
-A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces) x LeBron James (LA Lakers)
-Shelly Bell (Black Girl Ventures Founder and CEO) x Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
-Jewell Lloyd (Seattle Storm) x Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
-Diamond DeShields (Chicago Sky) x Anthony Davis (LA Lakers)
-Kayla McBride (Minnesota Lynx) X Paul George (LA Clippers)
-Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics) x Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
These women, which include WNBA players A’ja Wilson, Jewell Lloyd and Diamond DeShields, will also post their success stories.
As part of Nike and its umbrella brands’ $140 million investment in addressing racial inequality, they will be investing $500,000 in Black Girl Ventures, an organization that provides female entrepreneurs with access to community and capital to build their businesses.
Nike plans to keep this energy going with additional content throughout 2021 that celebrates black women and demonstrates how all aspects of culture can be more inclusive.