Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign was awarded silver at the Cannes Lions 2016 for creative effectiveness, and it is an excellent example of authentic and successful storytelling in sports. This specific niche of photographic storytelling has few identifiable champions, and Sven Hoffmann is one of them.

storytelling in sports

Berlin photographer Sven Hoffmann started out working in film, gaining experience both as a producer and a director, eventually founding his own commercial production company around 15 years ago. Since then, his projects include, among many others, clients such as Under Armor, Beats by Dre, Samsung, MTV, Sony and Nike. He has also traveled alongside renowned artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, Freundeskreis, Iggy and the Stooges and The Bosshoss, while making long-format documentaries about them and their music.

The exhibition “PRETTY CLOSE” shows a printed selection of his photographs for the first time



Please check out the video trailer for details:

Sven Hoffmann – Pretty Close from Harth&King on Vimeo.


“I like to get close to the protagonists, stand in the middle of the ring, be live on stage, and yet remain an invisible observer who respectfully cheers with quiet restraint,” Hoffmann says.


Wild, strained faces of boxers, joyous burlesque dancers, marathon runners after the finish line, rock musicians in their moment of total euphoria. Sven Hoffmann’s photographs tell inspirational stories of energised athletes and outstanding achievements, but they also explore the effort, grit, determination, and raw emotion that are intimately connected with the practice of any sport. His perspective is immediate and personal, allowing the viewer to feel part of the action, while at the same time keeping the athletes center-stage, focusing uniquely on their performance.

Always pretty close to the action.

For more inspirational storytelling examples, check out my interview to award-winning creator Francesco Nencini!