Sport builds community and can provide a platform to amplify voices and beliefs – all of which can transform the world in positive ways. The NBA All-Star Game is defined by highlighting the best players in the game, but this year, All-Star became a platform to call out and lift up Black women who make our world better.
To celebrate Black women, Nike is inspiring and enabling consumers to join them in action through a new film, “We Play Real”; a social campaign elevating Black women’s voices; and a pitch campaign with community partner Black Girl Ventures.
Throughout 2021, Nike will continue to deliver inspiring, empowering and motivating stories, content and experiences that demonstrate how the power of sport can help move the world forward.
“WE PLAY REAL” ANTHEM:
Black women deserve recognition for their impact on basketball, and the world, making both more inclusive. On March 7, Nike debuts a new film, titled “We Play Real,” narrated by Dominique Fishback, celebrating Black women and their resilience and fortitude to lead the world forward.
Key athletes in the film include (in order of appearance): A’ja Wilson, Jewell Loyd, Serena Williams, Crystal Dunn, HoneyBeez, Sydney Leroux, Naomi Osaka, Caster Semenya, Natasha Cloud, Diamond DeShields, Shelly Bell (Black Girl Ventures), Seimone Augustus, English Gardner, Simone Manuel, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Sheryl Swoopes, and Sha’Carri Richardson.
NBA athletes will use their Instagram handles to uplift and support Black women who are having outsized impact across sport, society and culture. These women will post their success stories — how their dream came to be, who inspired them, how they made it a reality, and ultimately ask the viewers to help realize their vision for the future. NBA athletes are paired with women making our communities and world a better place, including:
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)
NIKE X BLACK GIRL VENTURES PITCH COMPETITION:
As part of Nike, Converse, Jordan and Michael Jordan’s combined $140 million investment in addressing racial inequality, we’re investing $500,000 in Black Girl Ventures. Black Girl Ventures provides Black and brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital and capacity building to support entrepreneurship.
Nike’s funding enables Black Girl Ventures to grow its reach through new chapter development, increase technology infrastructure to better serve these entrepreneurs through its proprietary crowdfunding platform, and elevate its brand visibility through storytelling campaigns curated by Black and brown women.
We’re further supporting Black Girl Ventures by partnering to create a pitch competition to provide more opportunities for Black and brown woman-identifying founders to have access to capital.