Great Guns director Klaus Thymann directs the new campaign for Swedish sportswear brand Björn Borg. The brand has established a tennis match on the U.S. and Mexican border with one player on each side of the border, half the tennis court on Mexican soil and the other half on US soil. Borg Open – Tennis across Borders – is an initiative intended to manifest an open world in which sport has the power to unite people and Klaus was the perfect choice to capture the game.
The brand wanted to highlight how the world of today seems full of conflicts; conflicts that can lead to frustration, causing people and nations to build walls between each other. But why build walls, when we could get to know and learn from one another instead? That’s why the Swedish sportswear brand decided to establish a tennis match on the US/Mexican border, at Tijuana River, where a game is played between tennis players Mariano Argote (MX) and Peter Clemente (US). On average a tennis player swaps sides 13 times during a game. In this game, they weren’t allowed to.
“Borg Open is our way to state that we, as a sportswear brand, believe in an open world,” says Henrik Bunge, CEO of Björn Borg. “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 neighbors and do sport together instead of building walls.”
“This year I have been working a lot with Round & Round and they had the outline for this idea a while ago,” adds Thymann. “I got onboard and made the impossible happen, we are really on the real physical border. We were looking at many sights and wanted to find something that was logistically possible first and foremost. But as we investigated further it turned out this was almost impossible. It was not until I thought of a kind of legal loophole where we did everything from the Mexican side, minus US player, that it became a reality. When we were filming, the US Custom and Border Partol were observing us but never interfered.”
“It is very difficult doing a film shoot not knowing how long you have, and that we could get shut down at any time. So instead of planning the shoot in a more traditional way, we shot with 3-4 cameras simultaneously to get as much footage as possible. It was interesting watching the crew. Because we had such intense pressure, everyone was mega effective, but we still had fun on set”.