This Sports Brand Held a Tennis Match on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Brand Risked Arrest to Produce Film About How Sports Unifies

Published On
Jul 11, 2017

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The border between U.S. and Mexico has inspired many inventive ideas since Donald Trump promised to construct a massive wall separating the two countries. During campaign season, for example, Tecate beer used his proposed divider as a prop designed to unify, while more recently, a pair of creatives turned the phrase "Build the Wall" on its head to help find Mexican-Americans find employment. And now, Swedish sports brand Björn Borg placed the border smack dab in the middle of a tennis match, to show how sport is meant to unify.

Working with Swedish agency Round & Round, Björn Borg held the "Borg Open" at the Tijuana River on the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexican tennis player Mariano Argote played against Peter Clemente of the U.S. Throughout, voiceovers from both players reveals how their friends and opponents in the other countries have been instrumental to improving each others' game.

"Borg Open is our way to state that we, as a sportswear brand, believe in an open world," said Björn Borg CEO Henrik Bunge in a statement. "Unfortunately, the activity is not likely to make those people who promote raising walls change their opinion. But, with our heritage, we know that not only tennis nets, but sport in general, has the power to unite people. We hope to inspire people to reach out to their neighbours and do sport together instead of building walls."

It seems the brand, agency and production team put themselves at risk to create the film. The spot's audio also features a V.O. from legal counsel warning the director, Klaus Thymann, of potential arrest. And an endnote reveals that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol denied permission to film. The team, however, received numerous approvals from Mexican agencies for production.

Following the actual game, it seems the sports brand is trying to have fun with current news and recently tweeted the video, along with a request to Donald Trump Jr. for his email. Perhaps another match is in the offing?