Fans can argue endlessly over who’s the best in sports, and Nike just took the debate to a whole new level. In a stirring ad celebrating the highlights and lowlights of Serena Williams’ journey to tennis glory, the tagline reads, “Greatest Female Athlete Ever.” Then “Female” is deleted to make it “Greatest Athlete Ever.”
But the spot, coinciding with her latest run at the U.S. Open, shows that it’s about more than the victories. Using one-word slugs like “struggling,” “injured” and “comeback,” the commercial reminds viewers that a huge part of what makes Williams so great is what she’s overcome.
According to AdWeek, the concept took root in an exchange between Williams and a reporter at Wimbledon in July. Asked how she felt being “one of the greatest female athletes of all time,” she answered, “I prefer the words ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time.’”
Whether or not you believe that she’s the greatest, most of us can agree that she’s pretty great.