adidas has rolled out an initiative, #FanTheFire, through which it looks to focus attention on athletes who pursue lesser followed sports. Conceptualised by Cheil India, the first film under this series features Nishchay Luthra, an Indian Figure Skater who has won four international medals for India and is a nine-time National gold medalist. He is currently training in Florida for the Winter Olympics 2018.
The film opens in a house in India, where a lady is shown penning a letter to her son. Her thoughts are narrated through the film with shots of Luthra waking up at 3:00 am on a daily basis in Florida to train. The motivational letter ends with, 'Let's show him that his mom isn't his only fan. #FanTheFire'.
Sean van Wyk, senior marketing director, adidas India, said, “At adidas we truly believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. With #FanTheFire, we seek to shine a spotlight on athletes and sports which are not mainstream, and in turn, inspire the next generation to take up such sports. The campaign urges fan’s to support Nishchay and we hope that the encouragement of better-known athlete’s will help him gain the necessary patronage to reach his aim of winning a medal at the Winter Games in 2018. This is our commitment to provide the fuel for Nishchay Luthra and many more like him.”
Sanjeev Jasani, head – digital, Cheil India, said, “It is important to live the difference! adidas is a brand of today that always encourages us to think out of the box and create campaigns that captivate the audiences like no other. #FanTheFire campaign dwells on one of India’s perennial issues – sports beyond cricket. We feel proud of giving life to such a thought provoking campaign. We hope it fans the fire among the people of India and Nishchay gets his much deserving fans cheering for him in the coming Winter Games.”
Vijay Simha, ECD, Cheil India, added, “In India, cricket enjoys a disproportionately high amount of attention. The rest of the sports are simply out of sight, out of mind. Once in a leap year, a Bindra or a Karmakar happens. The media milks the nation's collective guilt, and soon we all forget. This was gnawing away at us, as we discovered a series of stories about Indian athletes living in obscurity and even penury. Fan the Fire was borne out of our instinctive urge to help the underdog. adidas has always been about the athlete, no matter what sport. So they saw the honesty of purpose, and agreed to leverage the social media power of their assets to lift Nishchay out of relative obscurity. I feel Nishchay's story is just a spark, that will soon be a fire, fanned by every Indian who cares!”
Client: adidas India
Creative agency: Cheil Worldwide SW Asia
Creative team: Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, Vijay Simha Vellanki & Vinod Sivan Nishith Sidana
Digital team: Sanjeev Jasani, Dibyendu Mishra, Arif Khan, Karan Lugani
Production: Gobsmack Entertainment
Director: Shivaji Sen
Producers: Mohit Rastogi & Shyam Madiraju