Nike Salutes the Transcendent Careers and Unbreakable Bond of Venus and Serena Williams

W+K drops 'You Can't Stop Sisters'

As the U.S. Open Tennis Championships start today in Flushing Meadows, New York, Nike celebrates Venus and Serena Williams with a simple, powerful film from Wieden + Kennedy.

Though fierce competitors on court, these two share a bond that transcends any notion of sibling rivalry. The future Hall of Famers, both among the greatest players of all time, trade lines over archival footage of their storied careers:

You Can’t Stop Sisters | Nike

"Ever since we were little girls, you've compared us to each other," their narration begins. "My game versus her game. My ranking versus her ranking. My titles versus her titles. My Grand Slams versus her Grand Slams. It's funny. You saw two tennis players trying to win a game. We saw two sisters changing it."

Among their combined achievements: 122 singles titles, including 30 Grand Slams, along with 327 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world. As a doubles team, they've won 14 Slams and three Olympic gold medals. In head-to-head competition, Serena (widely viewed as the best player in tennis history) holds a 19-12 advantage, including a hard-fought encounter at a tournament two weeks ago.

But the ad's about more than stats and trophies. At the end, we watch the Venus and Serena embrace after a match. The line "You can't stop sport" appears, that last word quickly overwritten by "sisters."

For parts of four decades, we've been privileged to enjoy one of tennis' ultimate rivalries, played out by two amazing women who through all the ups and downs remain inseparable friends and confidants. Now, at 40 and 38, respectively, Venus and Serena may be nearing retirement, but their unparalleled grace, mutual support and fighting spirit will forever speak to the very best sports has to offer. Moreover, "You Can't Stop Sisters" reminds us why we're so ecstatic the games returned after the pandemic layoff—they make us feel more engaged and alive.

Some might also view the spot as a Black Lives Matter and feminist statement, because it points to the uplifting role sisterhood and perseverance played in shaping the lives of these two strong Black women.

Venus and Serena play their first matches at the Open tomorrow, though not against each other. Serena is vying for her 24th Grand Slam singles titles, which would tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court.

Depending on how they move through the draw, the sisters could face off in a later round. We should be so lucky.

Clio Sports and Bleacher Report are hosting a virtual B2B thought leadership event, The New Sports Marketing Playbook, on Oct. 28-29. Click here to learn more and to register.

CREDITS

You Can't Stop Sisters

Client: Nike

VP, Global Brand Creative Gino Fisanotti
Creative Director - Brand Defining Alex Lopez
Sr. Director Andy Whiteside
Director Bill Maginnis
Director Bradley Firth
Studio Manager - Brand Defining Janine Engel

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Creative Directors Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
Copywriter Alex Romans
Art Director Caitlin Alexander, Miguel Gonzalez

Production
Head of Production Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer Jake Grand, Krystle Mortimore
Producer Mauricio Granado
Business Affairs Laura Caldwell, Maggie Harasyn
Director of Business Affairs Amber Lavender

Brand Management
Group Brand Director Andre Gustavo
Brand Director Kate Rutkowski
Brand Manager Paanii Annan
Brand Executive Jon Vaughan

Strategy
Group Strategy Director Paula Bloodworth
Strategist AJ Blumenthal

Media
Group Media Director Daniel Sheniak, Reme DeBisschop
Associate Media Director Emily Dalton
Media Vivian Zhang, Graham Wallace, Kallie Tenzeldam, Claudia Iraheta

Studio + Design
Creative Operations Manager David Ramirez
Integrated Traffic Managers Sabrina Reddy, Billy Mucha
Executive Design Producer Alicia Kuna
Design Producer Michael Frediani
Designers Joan Comellas, Charlie Hilton

Editorial: Joint
Editor Tommy Harden
Assistant Editor Andrea Seider
Post Producer Patrick Lewis
Executive Producer Leslie Carthy

VFX: a52
VFX Supervisor Patrick Murphy
Lead Flame Artist Dan Ellis
Online Editors Sam Kolber, John Valle
VFX Producer Maura Murphy
Head of Production Stacy Kessler-Aungst
VFX Executive Producer Kim Christensen , Patrick Nugent
Managing Director Jennifer Sofio Hall

Color Studio: a52 Color
Colorist Gregory Reese
Color Assist Corey Martinez, Dylan Bursick
Producer Jenny Bright
Executive Producer Thatcher Peterson

Animation Design Studio: Elastic
Animator (s) Trix Taylor
Producer Paul Makowski
Associate Producer Megan Rodriguez
Deputy Head of Production Zach Wakefield
Head of Production Kate Berry
Executive Producer Luke Colson
Managing Director Jennifer Sofio Hall

Mix Company: Lime
Audio Mixer Rohan young
Executive Producer Susie Boyajan

Music Composition/Supervision: Walker
Senior Executive Producer Sara Matarazzo
Executive Producer Stephanie Pigott
Producer Danielle Soury

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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