MPL Sports Foundation has launched a movement that could change the way we look at India’s Olympic athletes

Let’s face it – other sports in India don’t get half as much love as cricket does. While even international football clubs have ardent fans in India, athletes that represent our nation on the global stage don’t receive the same love and adulation.

But MPL Sports Foundation, the community arm of Mobile Premier League, believes that it is time to bring a change in the hearts of over a billion Indians. And this could be the missing link that will add a definite edge to greater glory for India in world sports.

In order to galvanise the masses, MPL has launched a truly inspiring movement to create fans out of the Indian public. The #FanBannJaaoge campaign film features some of the star athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

The premise is simple, and yet so impactful – if we are all just acquainted with the inspirational stories of our talented athletes we’d quickly become their fans – simply because they are just that impressive.

A stunning video tells the tale of a handful of our Olympians – like World No.1 archeress Deepika Kumari, who began her journey aiming at mangoes in the field, and Bhavani Devi, the first Indian fencer to compete at the Olympic Games.

The campaign aims to inspire people to not just celebrate our Olympians every time they bring home a medal, but also to follow their journey and support them throughout the way.

Each of our athletes have unique personalities, commendable achievements and intriguing stories which deserve to be known and celebrated, just as any cricketer or footballer.

The campaign was launched in late July. With the Games fast approaching, mobilising a large number of people in a very short span of time was a major challenge.

So the foundation reached out to as many sports clubs as possible, and built a first-of-its-kind Olympic Fan Army with support from popular organisations such as Kolkata Knight Riders, FC Goa, Shillong Lajong FC, Ultimate Table Tennis and more. These clubs boast of rich legacies with a reach of more than 31 million people combined. Along with MPL’s 75 million user base, the fan army is now over 100 million Indians passionately cheering for India and for Indian athletes.

Decorated sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik also joined the Fan army with his unique tribute.

To further amplify the message and reach more people, the foundation partnered with popular personalities such as Vidya Balan, Vicky Kaushal, Sonu Sood, Farhan Akhtar, and Gul Panag, who became fans of our Olympians and took to social media to show their love and fandom.

The MPL Foundation even partnered with popular consumer brands such as Center Fresh, Inox, Truecaller and Mentos who joined the movement through Twitter, revealing interesting facts about our sporting stars.

Our Olympians have come a long way from when they started out, facing innumerable challenges and difficulties. With the MPL Foundation spotlighting our nation’s top sports talent and rallying people from all over to cheer on our athletes, it’s hard not to be a fan.

We will leave you with Mirabai Chanu’s inspirational story in her own words, just before she left for Tokyo and made the nation proud.