‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’, the ideals that drive athletes the world over aspiring to make it big at the world’s largest athletics test, takes on a whole new meaning. A ceaseless, relentless, painful and often lonely pursuit to break past Olympics records goads them on every hour, every minute and probably every second. Add to that the stigma and hurdles that come along with being from small towns and remote villages, and what you have is a fight against the impossible.
But, impossible also says, ‘I’m possible’, which is what makes the Olympics a legendary example of the invincible human spirit. The games that have commenced from the 5th of this month at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil may be rife with doping scandals, but it is also made up of thousands of stories of unbeatable spirit, sacrifices and hardships.
Over 10,500 athletes are competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 disciplines this year. India is being represented by its biggest Olympic contingent ever: 100 Indian athletes are competing in boxing, wrestling, track and field, tennis, hockey, shooting, archery, badminton and more.
Sadly, we don’t know them. Outside of cricket, we hardly know any players or their stories. The scenario offers plenty of opportunities to the brands that have come forward to support the contingent this year. Reports claim corporate sponsorship to the tune of Rs. 10 crores that includes all kinds of partnerships to help them perform at their optimum best.
The most important of them all is a nation’s support. The ultimate morale booster for an athlete is when she isn’t standing alone representing a country of 1.3 billion at the Olympics arena. Several brands, irrespective of sponsoring the event or not, have come forward this year to stand with our Olympics contingent. To build awareness about them, to inform us about their daily struggles and in the process build their own brand too.
While many brands have shared creative content in the spirit of the games, with each piece carefully crafted in sync with the brand ethos and Rio 2016, there are the videos too that have been conceived with passion, pride and respect for our athletes. Read “How Indian brands are winning the visual content game around Rio 2016”.
They say a picture can say a thousand words, then surely a video can say much more. Many brands have invested in video storytelling this Olympics focusing on the athletes’ struggles and determination. Here’s a list of memorable films that have been making the buzz early on.
Edelweiss Group ‘I Am Team India’
Edelweiss Group, the principal sponsor of the Indian contingent, featured its brand ambassador Saina Nehwal in a powerful film that says a lot without Saina having to do the talking. “Nothing Means Anything” shows us the spirit of the athletes where rankings don’t matter when they are part of team India. #IAmTeamIndia’ also launched an anthem to unify the whole of India in one spirit – the Olympic spirit.
Tata Salt ‘Namak Ke Waastey’
Tata Salt, one of the sponsors of the Indian Olympics contingent, has launched ‘Namak Ke Waastey’, an integrated campaign to build awareness, pride and respect for our athletes.
Compelling stories talk about four Olympics aspirants and what they’ve undergone to be at the level they are at. A series of four videos form the core of the campaign, featuring: Shiva Thapa, the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the 2012 Olympics at the age of 19; Babita Kumari, the young wrestler who won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games; Inderjeet Singh, the shotputter who brought India gold at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2015; and Avtar Singh, the judoka who bagged gold 2016 South Asian Games.
Adani Group ‘Garv Hai’
Adani Group, the multinational infrastructure conglomerate maybe entangled in a mire of controversies, but its endeavour to support the Indian contingent cannot be ignored. The Group launched ‘Garv Hai’ a story driven campaign to get us to know our athletes, and give them a cheerful send-off to the Olympics.
Videos feature Boxer Shiva Thapa, currently ranked 3rd in the bantamweight category and Shotputter Inderjeet Singh, India’s strongest man. A website profiles other athletes including Ankita Raina, No.1 women’s singles tennis player in India currently; Khushbir Kaur, first Indian woman to clinch a 20 km Race Walk silver medal at 2014 Asian Games; Shooter Malaika Goel, India’s youngest Commonwealth medallist, winning a silver medal in the 2014 Games at the age of 16; Boxer Mandeep Jangra, silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games; Boxer Pinki Rani, current National Champion in Women’s Boxing, and Athlete Sanjeevani Jadhav, silver medallist at 2013 World School Games Olympiad.
JSW Group ‘Rukna Nahi Hai’
JSW Group that runs the JSW Sports Excellence Program (SEP) under JSW Sports supports 40 Indian athletes, out of which 12 are representing India at the Olympics – Judoka Avtar Singh, Wrestlers Babita Kumari, Hardeep Singh, Steeplechase Runners Sudha Singh, Lalita Babar, Wrestler Narsingh Yadav, Marathon runner OP Jaisha, Wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Sandeep Tomar, Discus thrower Seema Punia, Boxer Vikas Yadav and Wrestler Vinesh Phogat. As a tribute to their undying spirit, the brand launched a film – ‘Rukna Nahi Hai’ which talks about the athletes’ journey through a compelling story.
Official broadcaster of the Rio Olympics, Star Sports launched the ‘Billion Cheers’ campaign driven by the thought – Kyunki Olympics se bada kuch nahi. Films feature Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, Gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Archer Deepika Kumari along with the campaign film that encourages viewers to send in their cheers.
Royal Challenge Sports Drink ‘Made of Bold’
Cricketer Virat Kohli takes up the task of shifting the nation’s focus from cricket to the deserving athletes representing India. Royal Challenge’s ‘Made of Bold’ film is dedicated to all the athletes who give all for four years for one shot at metal – The ones who are made of absolute bold.
Videos are driving digital campaigns with every passing year. What lingers on are the memories sparked by the video, do share which ones excel in memorability for our athletes at Rio 2016.