Adidas and Cheil Worldwide India are launching the #FanTheFire campaign to encourage Indians to pay more attention to the country’s less well publicized athletic achievements outside of cricket.
"In India, cricket enjoys a disproportionately high amount of attention and the rest of the sports are simply out of sight, out of mind," stated Vijay Simha, group creative director, Cheil WW India. "This was gnawing away at us, as we discovered a series of stories about Indian athletes living in obscurity and even penury. #FanTheFire was born out of our instinctive urge to help the underdog. adidas has always been about the athlete, no matter what sport."
The first step will draw attention to successful but relatively unknown Indian sportspeople, like 18-year-old Indian figure skater Nishchay Luthra. The film is narrated by Nishchay’s mother, who reads out lines from a letter of encouragement before asking fans to support Nishchay as he attempts to win a medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The campaign is running on adidas’ social channels and can be seen here.
The campaign will later expand beyond individuals to spotlight sports such as gymnastics, skating and athletics.