This month, Nike announced the launch of Athlete Think Tank, the brand’s new initiative to invest and champion the next generation of girls in sports. The campaign was created to help tackle some of the barriers female athletes face.

The Think Tank includes an elite, diverse roster of sports superstars and global catalysts, including tennis legend Serena Williams, basketball star Sabrina Ionescu, and Paralympic runner Scout Bassett, among others, to share their valuable insights on the realities that every woman faces in her journey as an athlete. Bringing together this group of impactful changemakers allowed them to share their passion for supporting gender equality, equal pay and access in sport. 

Tennis legend Serena Williams is part of Nike's Athlete Think Tank. Image: courtesy of Nike

The roster of athletes also included are Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Simone Manuel, Ada Hegerberg, Angela Davis, Bebe Vio, Dina Asher-Smith, Deyna Castellanos, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Nafi Thiam, Scout Bassett and Shalane Flanagan. To jumpstart the program, Nike is providing a $1.3 million grant, through the Charities Aid Foundation America, toward organizations nationwide, that are focused on providing equal opportunities, funding community partners, and increasing access to sports participation for girls.

Each member of the Think Tank will choose an organization to support. For example, Williams chose to support the Brown Girls Dream in Los Angeles; Fraser-Pryce selected the Pocket Rocket Foundation in Jamaica; Ionescu went with the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation and Flanagan is partnering with the Marathon Kids and Amputee Blade Runners.

As the largest global women’s athletic brand, the brand is also rethinking how they design activewear for women’s unique bodies. This includes the impact of training while on your period, significant body changes throughout maturity as a woman, pregnancy and motherhood demands, and more inclusive sizing. Overall, Nike wants the program to be an investment in women by funding purposeful global organizations, creating opportunities for women and girls in sport, and ultimately to improve communities they care about.