“Baby girl, I won't mind if you play tennis badly…”
Gatorade released a beautiful commercial Nov. 20, 2017, starring tennis legend Serena Williams. The commercial features intimate shots of Williams cradling a baby while talking about the power of sports and, on a deeper level, life.
The ad is part of a “Sisters in Sweat” campaign that has a goal — in addition to selling millions of bottles of sugary sports drinks — of encouraging girls and women to stay in sports. According to PepsiCo-owned Gatorade, by the age of 14, girls drop out of sports at 1.5 times the rate of boys. “One of the primary reasons girls drop out of sport is because they don’t see a future in sport and believe their time is better spent preparing for their future in other ways,” the brand says.
In the commercial, Williams shares why the values she’s learned through playing sports extend far beyond professional rewards.
“Baby girl, I won’t mind if you play tennis badly. I won’t mind if you choose to never pick up a racket. But I beg you, in this game of life, please keep playing no matter what.
Just like it taught me, sports will teach you to be strong. You’ll discover the power and grace of your body. You’ll learn to move, and you’ll learn the way to move others.
Sports will teach you the strength of your allies whether your bond is by blood or by ball. Whether she shares the color of your skin or the color of your jersey, you’ll find your sisters in sweat. Sometimes you’ll score goals, sometimes you won’t, but the goals you set, you’ll reach together.
You’ll find the courage to stand tall, work harder, and speak louder on whatever playing field you choose in life. So keep playing, my girl. Keep playing.”
While the commercial’s message is empowering, the spot has attracted attention for another reason. While many believed Williams’ 2-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia appears in the ad, in fact, the baby girl isn’t her.
“While Serena intended to have Olympia make her screen debut as part of this film, her daughter was under the weather and unable to be on set, but the sentiment remains the same,” a Gatorade spokeswoman told Ad Age. But don’t worry, Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, aren’t keeping their gorgeous daughter under wraps. She already has her own Instagram account with over 130,000 followers.