Nike celebrates Serena Williams’ legacy with new ad: ‘By Changing Nothing, She Changed Everything’

“She didn’t change who she was, and that changed everything for all of us,” Euphoria star Zendaya says during the 60-second clip.

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Serena Williams has likely taken the final bow of her legendary career following her loss at the U.S. Open singles tournament on Friday, and Nike is celebrating the athlete for remaining unapologetically herself the whole way through.

The popular sneaker brand on Saturday morning released a 60-second clip commemorating Williams and her legacy titled “By Changing Nothing, She Changed Everything,” featuring guest voiceover narration from star actress Zendaya.

A series of stills from throughout WIlliams’ legendary career are shown in this screenshot from Nike’s new commercial: “By Changing Nothing, She Changed Everything.” (Screenshot: Nike via YouTube)

The video, created in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, features footage and imagery from throughout Williams’ storied rise – from first picking up a racket as a child in Compton, California and turning professional at 14, to earning 23 Grand Slam titles over nearly three decades.

“She didn’t change who she was, and that changed everything for all of us,” Zendaya says during the clip in honor of Williams’ fierceness in the face of bigotry, sexism and other unjust criticism as she became the face of the predominantly white sport and a role model for Black excellence.

In August, Williams announced her life’s next chapter in an essay accompanying her September cover issue of Vogue. She wrote, “I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.” She detailed her decision to step back from tennis after winning 23 Grand Slam titles and becoming one of the greatest to ever play the sport. 

She added in the essay: “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis resume and building my family, I choose the latter.”

A collage of WIlliams’ family is shown in this screenshot from Nike’s new commercial: “By Changing Nothing, She Changed Everything.” (Screenshot: Nike via YouTube)

Gatorade on Monday released its own video celebrating Williams’ incomparable legacy with narration from R&B icon Beyoncé. “To feel like a queen, unapologetically, with the crown indefinitely,” she said, adding: “To always love being a proud Black woman, a parent, a dreamer. To always love being you – a whole you, the real you. To always love you.”

In a statement accompanying their video, Nike wrote: “Serena Williams redefined what it means to be a true champion. Her legacy transcends sport and has inspired generations. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with her. And, we thank her for all she has done and will do in the future. Here’s to never changing who you are.”

“By Changing Nothing, She Changed Everything” is now available to watch on YouTube.

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