Adidas Gets Pumped for the Return of Sport, Whenever That Happens

Iris spot looks to better (opening) days ahead

Are you ready for some football? Of course you are. And baseball? Basketball, too? How about soccer, tennis, track and field, rugby, hockey, the Olympics?

For the most part, sports remain on hold around the globe amid the coronavirus crisis. Their absence is talking a huge cultural and financial toll. As teams sit out the season, stadiums stand empty, fans brood, franchise employees fret over their paychecks, and media platforms stand to lose billions of ad dollars.

Against that backdrop, Adidas and Iris look ahead to better days in the short film below. It opens, fittingly enough, with the image of a padlocked arena gate:

adidas | Ready for Sport

"While the world waits, let's remember, we will run again," the narration from rapper Princess Nokia begins. Uplifting but down-to-earth, her voiceover touches on freezing in the stands and showing up late for practice. It runs across shots of empty bleachers and deserted playing fields, mixed with pro action and footage of ordinary folks competing and keeping in shape.

She concludes: "We'll compete again. And create again. And when the time comes, we will be ready." The spot closes with the line, "Ready for Sport," introduced for this campaign.

Iris crafted the message using "99 percent stock footage from Getty and Filmsupply, plus two NBA clips we managed to get from existing Adidas content," agency creative director Gabi Mostert tells Muse.

The work initially rolled out across the social feeds of Adidas employees for internal engagement and motivation, then appeared on corporate assets and endorser channels.

Seeking to resonate with athlete of all levels, "there's a little something special in there for everyone," Mostert says. For instance, the Boston Marathon's Boylston Street finish line shows up because serious runners will recognize the landmark and "we loved the unexpectedness of it," she says. 

Elsewhere in the spot, "snowy seats remind us that we miss everything about sport, even those most freezing days," Mostert says. "Yoga, surfing and dancing shots show us that sport has so many beautiful dimensions. The home-video footage of James Harden has a raw, intimate feel to it."

This marks the second notable hip-hop-artist voiceover for a sports-related campaign of late, following Nas' wordplay proclaiming Hennessy the official spirit of the NBA.

"We knew we needed more than a generic V.O. for a script like this," Mostert says. "We wanted someone with flow and a poetic way with words. Someone young and well-known enough to bring some spice, but also reassurance and warmth. We loved her soft Puerto Rican accent, which adds soul and global flavor."


Brand - adidas
Creative Agency – Iris 
Executive Creative Director – Henry Scotland & Rachid Ahoiuyek
Creative Director – Gabi Mostert 
Planner – Rory Natkiel 
Managing Partner – Nico Tuppen 
Senior Account Director – Simone Botherway
Account Manager – Lottie Tonks
Agency Producers – Annabel Singer, James Plaxton & Oliver Rushton
Production Company – Iris POPs 
Director – Gabi Mostert 
Editor – Iain Finlay, Andy Sowerby
Post Production – Iris POPs 
Audio Post Production – George Castle @ GCRS
Designer – David Missen and Jess Leonard
Social Manager – Sophie Tyler 
Voice over talent management – Gary Cohen, ATC Management
Composer – Dave Connolly 
Music Licensor – Wake the Town

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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