Bjorn Borg targets tennis market

The brand that is named after 11-time Grand Slam champion has gone back to its roots as it attempts to break into the tennis market.

Sharing its name with the six-time Roland Garros champion, Bjorn Borg is a Swedish sport fashion brand best known for its underwear, but it is now targeting the sportswear market.

“We started making underwear in the 1980s and that’s what we are most known for but we also do men’s and women’s sports apparel amongst other categories,” explains Elena Shamis, Marketing Manager for Bjorn Borg UK. “In the UK we offer tennis, running and lifestyle collections as well as underwear, socks, swimwear and footwear.

“Sports fashion is our key focus. That’s where we see our brand going and that’s what we plan to develop in the future.”

Björn Borg was the first rockstar of tennis and a fashion icon. The Swede hung up his racket in 1984. Based on his legacy the brand was founded the same year and first underwear collection was launched in late 1980s. Today the brand is best known for its bright and colourful designs and its bold marketing campaigns. For its Spring-Summer ’15 collection, the company launched First Person Lover, an online fashion game experience which encouraged players to “battle evil forces with the power of love”. Based on traditional first-person shooter video games, weapons include a kiss gun, rainbow crossbow and teddy grenade.

“We are well known for our underwear and for our bold marketing campaigns,” says Shamis. “As a brand we stand for more love in the world.” But while Bjorn Borg’s underwear has a strong foothold in many European markets, particularly Sweden and the Netherlands, the brand is turning its focus to performance wear. As well as sponsoring Olympic diver Tonia Couch and personal trainer Joe Wicks, Bjorn Borg has also signed six young British tennis players as brand ambassadors.

“Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach is a personal trainer and nutritionist,” explains Shamis. “He’s an Instagram phenomenon. He has his own training programme that includes a nutritional plan and workouts. He’s recently had coverage in the national press and a number of TV appearances as well.”

With Wimbledon starting on June 29, Shamis is hopeful the brand gets further exposure during the Championships through the six new members of Team Borg: Ed Corrie, Dan Cox, David Rice, Scott Clayton, Harriet Dart and Tara Moore.

Corrie (pictured above) has been given a wildcard in the men's doubles with Kyle Edmund and will be hoping to qualify for the singles. Tara Moore, a wildcard last year took former finalist Vera Zvonareva to three sets, eventually falling 9-7 in the third set.

Currently with concessions in Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser, Bjorn Borg is planning to open its first store in London next summer. As part of its commitment to the tennis market, Bjorn Borg has joined the Tennis Industry Association UK and will be exhibiting at the Aegon International at Eastbourne next week.

“We thought it would be beneficial for us to be part of the association as we further develop our sports fashion offer” Shamis said of the decision to join TIA UK.

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