Throughout an unprecedented year rife with loss and turmoil, Nike has made it its mission to elevate our spirits by encouraging us to remain active. It’s also demonstrated how the power of sports can help move the world forward despite these turbulent times.
In March, Nike provided us all with tools and resources to stay active indoors while preserving our health and safety as part of its “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign. And in May, it dropped the short film Never Too Far Down, narrated by LeBron James, which delivered the powerful message that together we are capable of anything.
In July came You Can’t Stop Us, narrated by soccer great Megan Rapinoe, which celebrated sports’ unique ability to bring people together while also providing a platform to advocate for change and address issues that directly impact our communities.
August brought us You Can’t Stop Sisters, which explored the influence and impact that Serena and Venus Williams have had on tennis, and how their sisterhood has been their superpower.
“We were born sisters, but we’ve become each other’s biggest allies,” Serena says in the film. “For us, being sisters is everything. On and off the court, we’re each other’s biggest competitors, but we’re also each other’s biggest advocates. We are where we are today because we did this together.”
And now, with the year drawing to a close, Nike is back with You Can’t Be Stopped, the final chapter in its groundbreaking “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign. Only this time around, the focus is on how an athlete’s mindset can help them achieve whatever goals are set before them.
From Naomi Osaka to Kevin Durant to soccer star Marcus Rashford and countless others, each gives us a glimpse into what it takes to become a preeminent athlete and what motivates them to continue to make sacrifices to retain their stature in their respective sports.
So why do they train so hard? Why do they subject themselves to the rigors and punishment of being a professional athlete?
“I think my ‘why’ is something that will continue to evolve over the course of my lifetime, but it’s definitely something that I started to be more conscious of as I’ve matured,” Osaka said in a statement to The Root. “Interacting with fans has taught me a lot about the impact of my actions on others; I think they actually inspire me more than I inspire them.
“Honestly, I’m still figuring out what my ‘why’ is. Right now, I go on court with the purpose of making history. I am proud to be the first Japanese person to win a Grand Slam. Off court, I like the idea of inspiring the next generation. I would not be here without the people who inspired me growing up, so the idea that I may potentially do the same for the next generation is why I keep grinding.”
“My earliest memories always involved football,” Rashford said in a statement to The Root. “It’s the most consistent thing I’ve ever had in my life. It makes me proud that I am living what I’ve dreamed of doing as a kid. That football helped me and my family out of difficulty. It has offered me a platform where I can have a voice for those so rarely heard. A pathway that tells these children it is possible. Dreams can come true.”
That they can.
You can watch You Can’t Be Stopped below and learn more about Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign here.