Last month saw an explosion of conversation online regarding the ban of Serena Williams wearing her custom made Nike catsuit to next year’s French Open.
The French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giudicelli, announced the new dress code at Roland-Garros, saying that players “must respect the game and the place.”
Whilst many have taken to social media to dispute the decision, Nike took to Twitter in lightning speed to provide a reactive response that supported its brand ambassador, which in turn served real aces.
Featuring a monochrome photograph of Williams mid action wearing her bespoke catsuit and glittering SW Nike trainers, Nike tweeted shortly after the announcement: “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers. #justdoit.”
Generating over 112,000 retweets and 258,000 likes, Nike’s tweet serves two purposes. Firstly, it reaffirms the strength and individuality of one of tennis’ most iconic players, but secondly, it subtly promotes the latest Serena Williams + Nike ‘Voice of belief’ campaign and what this means to millions around the world.
Nike’s response has not only shown what a true superhero its brand ambassador is, but also cemented that through its ‘just do it’ campaign, everyone can become their own superhero.
Having taken two years to create, the catsuit was meant to be a ‘power suit’, which helped Williams’ body recover during the match, particularly with regard to blood clots. Williams herself chose the red waistband as she said it ‘made her feel like a superhero.’
Unsurprisingly, the tweet has received an abundance of support online, with ma
y calling for Nike to launch an exclusive range for sporting women and mothers. It’s this perfect balance between the actual functionality of the suit and its connotations of strength, femininity and power that continues to position Nike as a brand we can all identify with – and a brand ambassador we can all aspire to.
Nike’s response is an example of reactive content as it should be – effective, relatable and inspiring.
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