Adidas Wants Young Athletes to Stop Obsessing Over Leo Messi and Other Sports Stars

New spot a move away from hero worship

Kill your idols, as they say. Or, at least stop worshipping them so much. That's what Adidas' new inspirational 60-second spot from 72andSunny is about, though it'd be easy to get caught up in the ad's focus on soccer star Lionel Messi. 

Instead of zeroing in on well-known athletes to pitch their products—though they're still featured in the campaign—Adidas is looking to champion up-and-coming talent. 

"We live in a world where typically athletes are told to follow or emulate their heroes," said Lia Stierwalt, senior director of global communications and media for Adidas. "We want to inspire creators to defy the norm of sports today, so they can focus on shaping their own reality and ultimately create their own game." 

"In terms of marketing [championing young players' skills over star athletes'], that's a topic that's skirted by these companies, because no one wants to upset their athletes," said Glenn Cole, chief creative officer of 72andSunny in Los Angeles. "By saying we're promoting and sponsoring you, but now we're going to tell everyone to 'unfollow' you … I think it's brave of them and the athletes involved to be willing to go there." 

Much of the new spot was stitched together from material found online, according to Cole. The agency did, however, work with Messi for a reaction shot. 

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