As the new year unfolds and you may or may not find yourself re-downloading dating apps and diving back into the world of swiping right for love, Serena Williams has entered a year-long professional relationship with Bumble, the dating app that requires women to message their matches first.
Bumble will unveil a marketing campaign with Williams that will “coincide” with the Super Bowl in February, according to Reuters, but would not say whether the campaign involves a TV commercial. (When asked, Williams offered that the Super Bowl is “a great opportunity for women’s voices to be heard louder” and that “We want to make noise”—so yeah, seems likely there will be a commercial.) One thing we do know that the campaign is cheekily titled “The Ball is in Her Court.”
“I would not be where I am today had I let the fear of making the first move hold me back,” Williams said. Williams—like most famous people, I’m assuming—has never used a dating app that’s open to the public and is married to another famous person Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. So normally, I would find this kind of sentiment cheesy and misleading, but the thing is, I do actually believe her because she’s Serena Williams, and I know technically she’s not lying.
Williams, who will serve as a global advisor to Bumble and help further its aims to “end misogyny and empower women,” is staying pretty on-message here, but I’m not sure what this partnership will actually mean, if anything, for people on the app. Speaking from experience, using dating apps, Bumble included, is not so much a terrible experience as a mentally exhausting and occasionally mind-numbingly boring one; sorting through your matches, messaging first, and so on, can begin to feel like homework after a while.
Still, maybe Williams will inspire some women to keep trucking along and flirting into the abyss, which is as noble a feat as any, and to them, I say good luck.