Throughout the pandemic, Adidas has been running a series of spots with the theme "Ready for Sport" that look forward to the future of sport once all this is over.
It started out by telling us "we'll compete again" to a backdrop of empty stadia, and moved on to hearing how 2020 has affected athletes' personal stories. Now, a final spot in the campaign, by agency Iris, looks at how sport might play a role in our "uncertain" future now that it's (tentatively) "back" again.
The film is narrated by South African rugby player Siya Kolisi, who was the first Black man to be appointed test captain of the South African team. It starts out with him acknowledging that while "sport might not the answer right now" it teaches us that "impossible challenges must be faced and overcome."
It goes on to showcase a variety of athletes and sporting moments featuring Adidas-sponsored athletes, including soccer player Paul Pogba scoring the winning penalty with seconds to go, runner Noah Lyles racing to the finish line and boxer Caroline Dubois practicing her knockout in the ring.
"We should be playing with more heart and more fire, because nobody knows what the future holds," continues Kolisi. "Opportunities will come, and we must be ready.”
Adidas says Kolisi embodies the brand's belief that sport has the power to change lives. "We chose Siya to narrate the film because his story serves as a reminder that sport has the power to bring hope, and he is the true embodiment of how maintaining focus can lead to greatness," said Florian Alt, vice president, brand communications, global brands at Adidas, in a statement.
As well as the TV spot, which was directed by Gabi Mostert, Adidas has created a filter on Instagram that aims to give fans the experience of being in a stadium—one aspect of sport that still isn't "back." It allows fans to hear the roar of the crowds once again by closing their eyes.