How can you quantify the power of Serena Williams — off the court, that is?
For Whistle Sports, the sports-focused digital network and media co, it’s all in the video views, and, after the superstar athlete’s debut trick-shot video with YouTubers Dude Perfect dropped earlier this week, there’s no question she wields plenty of might in the digital market.
Since the video went live on YouTube May 23 at 6 p.m. ET, it’s racked up 3.75 million views, and counting.
In it, Williams shows off her prowess on the count by smashing water-filled balloons with her tennis serve, blasting a can off the top of a moving cart and “The Palm Beach Swisher”, featuring Williams attempting to hit an oversized tennis ball from the top stands into a basketball hoop. (Spoiler alert: She makes the shot.)
The video employs a known strategy of creatively blending product sponsorship with big-name stars in an effort to build up video views and engagement (measured in shares, likes and comments) across digital platforms. Late night hosts Jimmy Fallon and James Corden, for instance, have each used versions of this to drive huge audiences (and brand partnerships) on Facebook and YouTube, on top of their linear reach.
Similarly, the Williams’ video serves to bring attention to Mission, a sports tech accessories company co-founded by the tennis start. But, said Whistle Sports EVP Brian Selander in a statement, “It (also) gives fans a closer look at how much fun both Serena Williams and the Dudes are on and off court.”
Dude Perfect are, themselves, headliners on YouTube. The Texas-based comedian/atheletes are among WhistleSports top creators, with 10 million subscribers and 1.7 billion views on the platform. They’ve previously collaborated with lacrosse star Paul Rabil (for LG cameras) and YouTuber Devin Supertramp (for Pepsi and Papa Johns), among others.