Adidas has introduced #FanTheFire in an attempt to bring focus onto other sports in India.
The short film shows the story of Nischay Luthra, an 18-year old Indian athlete aiming for a medal in Figure Skating at the Winter Games 2018, is narrated by his mother.
There has been a paradigm shift in interest of Indians when it comes to sports over the last two years. While cricket still dominates the numbers when it comes to viewership and reportage, popularity of other sports like football, tennis and badminton have increased as well. Sports are being taken as a serious subject in India unlike before.
Sean van Wyk, senior marketing director, Adidas India commented on the initiative, “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.”
The initiative has garnered support from Indian cricketer KL Rahul who changed his Twitter display name to support the skater while other players pledged their alliance to him by tweeting.
Nischay's journey in the film highlights the struggle which Indian players from other sports have to go through to achieve success. Lack of proper funding and infrastructure makes it difficult for athletes to pursue alternate sports and through their initiative initiative, Adidas wants to trigger awareness and recognition for such athletes.
Sanjeev Jasani, head – digital, Cheil India said, “ #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.”