Nike honors the 'real' magic of Black women's accomplishments

'We Play Real' campaign that debuted in time for International Women's Day promotes leveling the playing field

Published On
Mar 08, 2021

Editor's Pick

A new spot from Nike that debuted this weekend in time for International Women’s Day honors the seemingly “magical” accomplishments of Black women by highlighting that the successes are not magic at all—they’re the result of the “blood, sweat and tears” the women put into excelling at whatever game they’re playing—whether it’s on the field, the court or the everyday world.

The spot features scenes of top athletes excelling at their game, including tennis pros Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, stars of the WNBA and Women’s U.S. Soccer team and track and field athlete Caster Semenya, interspersed with clips of Black Lives Matter activists, NASA astronaut Mae C. Jemison and late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. 

It's all backed by a voiceover from actor Dominique Fishback (“Show Me a Hero,” “The Deuce”) reading spoken-word verse:

Even when the world tells us it’s never going to be enough, we’ve got that thing—that hooping, soccer-playing, game-changing, oh-so-resilient, double-a outing, butterfly-stroking thing. We worked for all this. You thought history made itself? Nah, this ain’t magic. This is the real thing.

The spot then ends with the tag, “We Play Real,” followed by the line, “Level the playing field for Black women."

The effort also includes a social push with NBA athletes, who will use their Instagram handles to help uplift Black women who have made a significant impact on sport, society and culture. The pairings include LeBron James of the L.A. Lakers, who will share a story from Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson; Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, who will get the word out on Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics and the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, who will support Shelly Bell, the founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures.

Black Girl Ventures is also the latest benefactor of the combined $140 million investment from Nike, Converse, Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan addressing racial inequality. The organization will receive $500,000 to go toward supporting entrepreneurship of those who identify as Black and Brown-woman founders.


Mar 08, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy-Portland
Creative Director :
Alberto Ponte
Creative Director :
Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter :
Jordan Dinwiddie
Art Director :
Whitney Downing
Head of Production :
Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producer :
Jake Grand
Producer :
Shelley Eisner
Creative Operations Manager :
Lisa Calgaro
Integrated Traffic Manager :
Sabrina Reddy
Integrated Traffic Manager :
Billy Mucha
Studio Manager :
Sarah Starr
Designer :
Charlie Hilton
Designer :
Angie Bac
Editorial :
White House
Editor :
Charlie Harvey
Assistant Editor :
Taylor Schwartz
Executive Producer :
Joanna Manning
Post Producer :
Annie Maldonado
VFX Company :
Flame Artist :
Adam Flynn
Flame Artist :
Dan Ellis
Flame Artist :
Stefan Gailot
Flame Artist :
Michael Vaglienty
Flame Artist :
Gretchen Capatan
3D Artist :
Bryan Cox
3D Artist :
Jade Smrz
3D Artist :
Jaemin Lee
3D Artist :
Josh Dyer
3D Artist :
Sarah Wolfe
3D Artist :
Jose Limon
3D Artist :
Aemilia Widdo
3D Tracking :
Joe Chiechi
3D Tracking :
Mike Bettinardi
On-line Editor :
Dan Ellis
On-line Editor :
Sam Kolber
Production Coordinator :
Sara Dotson
Head of Production :
Stacy Kessler-Aungst
Head of CG Production :
Michael Steinmann
Managing Director :
Jennifer Sofio Hall
VFX Supervisor :
Andy McKenna
VFX Producer :
Andrew Rosenberg
VFX Producer :
Chris Lewis
VFX Executive Producer :
Kim Christensen
VFX Executive Producer :
Patrick Nugent
Color Company :
Colorist :
Dimitri Zola
Senior Producer :
Diane Valera
Sound Design Company :
Joint Editorial
Sound Designer :
Noah Woodburn
Sound Designer :
Natalie Huizenga
Producer :
Amanda Ornelas
Producer :
Frankie Kerner
Mix Company :
Machine Sound
Audio Mixer :
T Terressa Tate
Executive Producer :
Alek Rost
Music Supervision :
Senior Executive Producer :
Sara Matarazzo
Executive Producer :
Stephanie Pigott
Producer :
Danielle Soury
Song :
Les Fleurs
Artist :
Ramsey Lewis
Footage Research & Clearance :
Nickerson Research Inc.

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