Samsung Olympic Docu-Short Showcases Four Unknowns’ Path To Rio 2016

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Samsung, the IOC’s worldwide Olympic partner in the ‘wireless communications equipment’ category, has teamed up with Academy Award winning director Morgan Neville for an inspiring documentary about four unknown Olympic hopefuls called ‘A Fighting Chance’.


The film short tells the uplifting story of four little known athletes and their quest to beat the odds and the obstacles to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


‘A Fighting Chance’ introduces the world to Olympic hopefuls Tsepo Mathibelle (a 24-year-old marathon runner from Lesotho), Miller Pata and Linline Matauatu (23 and 26-year-old beach volleyballers from Vanuatu), and Yenebier Guillén Benitez (a 29-year-old female boxer from the Dominican Republic):


Mathibelle, who supports his entire family, finished last at the London 2012 Olympic Games but is steadfast in his quest to win Lesotho’s first Olympic medal.


Pata & Matauatu, whose South Pacific island nation was devastated by Cyclone Pam in 2015, are inspiring  generation of Ni-Vanuatu women to think beyond the limits of traditional boundaries.


Benitez is smashing gender barriers and striving to be the first female Olympic medalist from her country.


The umbrella themes of dedication and determination knit each athlete’s ambition and journey together under the shared goal of winning gold in Rio.


The initiative, one strand of Samsung’s wider objective of spreading the Olympic spirit by focusing the spotlight on athletes who relentlessly push the boundaries of what is possible, is initially being teased through a trailer launched on 14 March.



Initially posted on Samsung’s YouTube channel, this teaser phase is also amplifying the film across the sponsor’s social platforms – including Facebook and Twitter.



The full documentary is scheduled for release in Spring 2016.


The film is directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom & Best of Enemies), who is renown for his skills in making relatively unknown subjects become the stars.


The director spent time in each athlete’s home nation, watching their everyday lives and their training, interviewing the Olympic hopefuls, their coaches, teammates and communities and researching the ways each is breaking the mould and attempting to rewrite history .


‘I am happy to be working with Samsung to create this documentary film in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Samsung is a brand known around the world, and I’ve seen the positive impact it can make on not just these athletes, but on others as well,’ commented director Morgan Neville.


‘If the Olympic Spirit is about overcoming every hurdle and accepting no limits, then I think Samsung is a great ambassador for these values.’


Part of the programme also sees Samsung provide each athlete with a suite of its Galaxy range products to help with their training.


Samsung is trying to spread the Olympic spirit ahead of the games, as one part of its overall mission to connect and help people stay connected, share experiences and create the memories that write history.


‘Samsung is in a unique position to tell the untold stories of these athletes because we live the same dreams of being extraordinary and pushing limits to achieve the impossible,’ explains Samsung EVP of global marketing Younghee Lee.


‘As a dedicated [Olympics partner], we believe that this film will captivate the world in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, fueling the Olympic movement overall and shining a spotlight on athletes and countries that many fans would have never known before.’




The initial response to the first phase of the campaign looks positive with the trailer racking up 31,955 views in the first 24 hours since it was posted on the Samsung Mobile YouTube channel – fairly impressive for a mere documentary teaser.


The tactic reflects the wider trend for longer form film that spans both sponsorship activation and general web marketing content.


Despite the long-held ‘shorter is better’ mantra for attention-deprived web users, long-form digital video is generating plenty of positive marketing attention and contemporary statistics suggest increased investment in such formats is a trend that is paying off.


After all, FreeWheel’s latest Video Monetization Report show an impressive 43% year-on-yeaar growth for long-form video ad views.


Of course, the industry hasn’t totally agreed on a strict definition of long-form video: while some outfits like FreeWheel defines 0-5 minutes as short-form, 5-20 minutes as medium-form and 20+ minutes as long-form, other organisations like Ooyala and Google AdWords refer to any digital videos longer than 10 minutes as long-form content.


The work activates Samsung’s TOP worldwide International Olympic Committee partner.


The Korean conglomerate first signed up as an IOC TOP sponsor in 1998 (it had previously simply been a local sponsor at the 1988 Seoul Olympics).


Back in August 2014 Samsung renewed its IOC sponsorship in the wireless communications equipment category until 2020.


This deal sees the firm partner the next three Olympic Games events (Rio De Janiero 2016, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and Tokyo 2020) and sees it provide the IOC and organisers with smartphones, tablets, laptops, personal computers and other computing equipment, and desktop printers.


These mobile technologies provide the Olympic Family with real-time, user location-based information service, interactive communications, and Samsung Pay.


Samsung hosts various Olympic campaigns to share the excitement of the Olympic Games with people around the world and enable everyone to participate in the Games through its innovative mobile technology.


Samsung’s other recent Olympic work includes its VR-led ‘the Only Way To Know’ YouTh Olympic Games campaign for Lillehammer 2016 (see case study).




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Rio Olympic games Website:


IOC Olympic Games Website:


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