adidas has launched its latest initiative #FanTheFire to focus attention on athletes who pursue lesser followed sports. The digital film features Nishchay Luthra, an Indian Figure Skater who has won 4 international medals for India and is a 6-time National gold medalist. Nishchay’s inspiring story is told from the point of view of his mother – his biggest fan, who is narrating Nishchay’s journey in pursuit of his dreams.
The initiative through the lens of Nishchay highlights the challenges faced by athletes who choose to pursue a sport other than cricket and their journey in the pursuit of excellence. In a country where Cricket and to some extent Hockey, Football, Tennis and Badminton, are the only sports that receive some glory, it is extremely difficult to take up alternate sports such as ice skating, gymnastics, athletics etc. In India, it is not the dearth of talent or the lack of fire in their belly, but the lack of opportunity and backing of the nation which does not encourage other such athletes to take up alternate sports. Through this initiative, adidas wants to trigger awareness and recognition for such athletes.
This film on Nishchay Luthra, is the first in adidas’ initiative to draw attention to lesser known athletes who require the support of the nation. adidas aims to continue the campaign through other initiatives in an endeavour to make a difference to the pursuit of sport in India.
Speaking on the innovative campaign, Senior Marketing Director, adidas India, Sean van Wyk 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.”
Talking about the campaign, Head – Digital, Cheil India, Sanjeev Jasani 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 Olympics.”
“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!” added Executive Creative Director, Cheil India, Vijay Simha.