Serena Williams is more than just an athlete. She recently came in second place at this year’s Wimbledon Tournament, less than a year after giving birth to her first child. While she rose to fame as a superstar tennis player, Serena has successfully transitioned into a powerhouse off the court as well as on it.
Serena Williams – Tennis Star and Entrepreneur
Serena is the only woman on the 2017 Forbes List of The World’s 100 Highest Paid Athletes. She has her own fashion collection, Aneres, where she sells clothing for today’s women “being awesome”. She has endorsement deals with Nike, a line with Puma and a handbag and jewelry collection sold on the Home Shopping Network.
In 2009, she and her sister Venus became minority owners of the Miami Dolphins NFL franchise, the first ever African-American women to do so. She is also an investor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). She serves on the board of SurveyMonkey with Facebook COO and friend Sheryl Sandberg. She recently had an HBO documentary air about her life as an athlete, entrepreneur, wife and mother. She was on the cover of Vogue Magazine’s February 2018 issue with her newborn daughter.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. The most impactful and authentic part of Serena’s activities off the court is her philanthropic work. She has been dedicated to making a difference in her hometown as well as communities around the world.
Serena Williams – Philanthropist
Serena serves as a Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF. She has been involved with the organization’s Schools for Asia campaign, to educate Asia’s 26 million marginalized children. She traveled with the organization to Africa in 2006 and currently supports their “World’s Largest Lesson” campaign, aiming to teach children from more than 100 countries the Sustainable Development Goals. She’s built schools in several countries around the African continent and fights for gender equity within those schools.
The tennis star and entrepreneur has given back at home through the Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund, founded by NFL alumnus Tutan Reyes to support first generation college students with high potential. Serena sits on the board of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which works to create and nurture more diverse and inclusive future leaders.
She is an ambassador for Allstate’s foundation, Purple Purse, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence through financial empowerment. After loosing her sister in a shooting in 2003, Serena and her sister Venus created the Yetude Price Resource Center to help those suffering from community violence. The center was created in 2016 through the Williams Sisters Fund, a charitable fund the two sisters created to give back in their hometown of Compton, California. She supports movements like Black Lives Matter and she is involved with the Caliber Foundation, supporting families and victims affected by gun violence.
Serena’s Philanthropic Work is an Asset to Her Brand
The causes that Serena supports are all relevant to her personal brand. She is passionate and committed to giving back to those causes because of her personal relationship to them. Her life experiences and relevance to the causes she serves brings authenticity and maximizes the impact that she makes.
Through her many charitable efforts, she has made an impression in the business community that she understands the importance of giving back. Prospective endorsers, companies with board openings, or prospective partners are lining up to work with Serena because of her brand power. Whether she is on the court or off of it, Serena is always unapologetically herself, and that what helps her stand out and make such a positive difference in the world.