Today, adidas unveils Ready for Sport: The Anthem, a powerful campaign film that reflects on recent sporting history to celebrate the true magnitude of what it brings to the world. With a bold opening line exclaiming sport might not be the answer, the film goes on to explore how it can bring communities together as we see a montage of raw emotion, dedication and exhilaration through leading global athletes.
As athletes face unprecedented challenges, the 60-second film is narrated by South African rugby icon, Siya Kolisi, who made history as the first Black man to be appointed Test captain of the South African team in 129 years of rugby, and with sheer determination, led the South African Rugby team as they were crowned world champions against England in 2019. His personal journey of growing up in the impoverished township of Zwide to captaining the national team embodies adidas’ belief that sport has the power to change lives.
“Sports might not be the answer right now, but it teaches us that impossible challenges must be faced and overcome,” says Kolisi. “Now that sport is back, we can’t waste this chance. We should be playing with more heart and more fire, because nobody knows what the future holds. Opportunities will come, and we must be ready”
Kolisi’s poignant message is echoed to athletes in the film against a backdrop of scenes including Paul Pogba scoring the winning penalty with seconds to go, Noah Lyles racing to finish line and going for gold, Caroline Dubois practicing her knockout in the boxing ring, and Candace Parker’s steely focus as she practices her shot – showcasing the sheer optimism and excitement that sport can bring to elite and every day athletes alike.
Florian Alt, Vice President, Brand Communications, Global Brands at adidas, said, “With the world thrust into the unknown, sport has been the one constant, fuelling people with joy and optimism. We brought our community together with a positive outlook through workouts, and a series that humanizes our sports icons by offering unprecedented access into their hearts and minds. Now, we want to inspire our community to get back in the game, master their craft and play like never before. 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.”
Whilst sport has started returning to screens, one element is still missing for athletes and spectators alike: the stadium experience. Coinciding with the release of Ready for Sport: The Anthem, adidas has created an immersive Ready for Sport face filter on Instagram that brings this to life. In a digital-first, the innovation allows consumers to relive the live sport experience virtually, placing them inside the stadium where they can hear the roar of the crowds once again by closing their eyes. The filter goes live on @adidas Instagram from Monday 17 August until Monday 7 September.
Since the campaign launched in March this year, adidas has engaged over 3,000 athletes and artists to support the hearts, minds and bodies of the community. With a 300% spike in social conversation following the announcement that team sports would be returning, The Anthem is the culmination of the Ready for Sport story so far and seeks to inspire the community, sparking feelings of joy and optimism for what lies ahead.