Rebel Sport challenges athletes to show their grit—UPDATED

Rebel Sport has launched a new spine-tingling campaign, via Ogilvy, that profiles All Black Malakai Fekitoa, whose resilience proved him worthy of the team jersey. 

The 90-second video features motivational speaker and voice-over artist Eric Thomas telling the story of Fekitoa, who grew up in Tonga with the nickname “Polio” after a door fell on him in a freak accident and crushed his hip when he was five.

It shows how he worked and trained hard to overcome both his injury and the voices of those who said he didn’t have a chance.

After showing how Fekitoa came to make the team, the video then goes on to show shots of other athletes who are working hard to overcome their disabilities and injures

“If life’s got you down, I need you to do what Fekitoa did, I need you to get up and prove them wrong,” says Thomas, before the question ‘What’s your why?’ appears on the screen.

Group marketing manager Tanya Laurence says: “We felt an incredible responsibility to Malakai on this, as he put a huge amount of trust in both Rebel Sport and Ogilvy to tell his life story in an authentic and compelling way. He, along with us are very happy, and proud of the result and we hope that it inspires Kiwis of all ages to go after their sporting dreams, no matter how big or small their goal is.”

The 90-second spot is supported by a 30-second spot and a behind-the-scenes video in which Fekitoa tells his story for himself. There will also be retail spots with others sharing with the audience what their ‘why’ is in a sporting sense.

“My ‘why’ was proving people wrong, people that from a young age told me that I wouldn’t be able to play for New Zealand, you’re not going to be able to play professional,” says Fekitoa.

However, by playing his 17th test as an All Black over the weekend, he’s certainly proved them wrong.

Rebel Sport has a history of sharing the stories of what motivates Kiwi athletes and sports players.

This latest ad, however, has Nike feel about it, with inspirational stories being coupled with a strong voice. Like many Nike ads, it also pulls the narrative back to amateur athlete to make the point that anyone can aspire to their own definition of greatness. 

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