With the postponement of the Olympics and no live sport, 2020 has been a difficult year so far for marketers wanting to feature their sponsored athletes in ads. Some, like Nike, have put the focus on athletes working out at home during the height of lockdown; Olympic sponsor Visa also showed Olympians performing impressive feats in their bedrooms.
Adidas has taken a slightly different approach, pointing to the future instead of the confined present in its "Ready for Sport" campaign, which started with an ad using stock footage of empty stadia and venues and vowing "we'll compete again." Now, it moves on to interviews with some of its athletes, reflecting on how 2020 has been for them and looking forward to 2021.
The spot, by Iris New York features athletes including swimmers Katie Ledecky & Mckenzie Coan, runner Shaunae Miller-Uibo, boxer Caroline Dubois and tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas. They remember some of the key moments as the pandemic unfolded "("I woke up to this text from my coach," recalls Coan) and reflect on how they have had to become more creative in their regimes or cope with sense of loss from not being able to compete.
It ends on a note of hope as Dubois says, "When you've spent a lifetime waiting for this moment, what's one more year?"
The ad was directed by Sarah Chatfield via Station Film and Beast.