The Björn Borg trademark was registered in the late 1980s and established in the Swedish fashion market in the first half of the 1990s. Since then operations have grown strongly, including through new product areas and geographical markets.
The brand increase singly stands on its own merits, distinct from Björn Borg the person, and a growing share of consumers associate the name with the brand’s products rather than Björn Borg himself. At the same time Björn Borg’s legacy as a tennis player and his celebrity status off the court are the brand’s roots and still provide a strong platform for international expansion.
Today the brand has a distinctive identity and strong position in established markets in its dominant product area, underwear, while newer markets are in a start-up stage. In its business plan, Björn Borg has an explicit goal to be a leader in sports fashion and has therefore decided to focus on design and production of sports apparel.
With five product areas and sales in around 20 markets – mature as well as new and with different conditions and preferences – consistent, long-term branding is essential.
A new brand and communication platform with a new tagline was developed and introduced in 2015. They reflect the brand’s sporty identity and products that make customers feel active and attractive.
Björn Borg tries to provide the best possible service to its distributors and licensees, which commit to a specific level of investment in their markets. The aim is to create opportunities to build sales and brand awareness, while at the same time ensuring consistent branding.
Support for distributors and licensees includes branding guidelines and marketing support for ad campaigns, PR activities, media buying and Point of Sale displays – packaged for each market’s needs, stage of development and budget.
The Björn Borg brand is profiled through innovative marketing activities. The strategy is to build the brand and drive sales consistently over the long term. To achieve cost efficiencies and broad impact, the Group focuses on integrated campaigns and activities mainly in spreadable channels such as PR, events and digital media, but also trade shows, fashion shows and Point of Sale displays.
Outdoor advertising and print ads are primarily used in established markets, usually through targeted activities in urban areas. The aim going forward is to focus on bigger campaigns with broader coverage in more channels to achieve greater impact.
PR activities and events are an important component in the mix of channels used in Björn Borg’s integrated campaigns. Background material and guidelines are produced centrally as part of the marketing packages distributors have access to, while detailed planning and implementation are left to each market.
Social media have continued to grow in importance to the interaction between Björn Borg and its end -consumers, and the company sees these channels as both vital and cost-effective for branding and sales promotions.
Through the web shop at bjornborg.com, Björn Borg products are sold practically around the world. The website is also a key channel for international branding and to communicate with target groups.
The Björn Borg stores fill an important role as a marketing channel and to display the brand and current campaigns. During the year a new retail concept was launched to better showcase the products, distinguish the brand and attract customers.
Campaigns and events 2015
During the year Björn Borg continued to position itself in sports and fashion through three main activities.
Björn Borg’s spring campaign First Person Lover
Björn Borg’s spring campaign, First Person Lover, received several advertising awards during the year for innovative marketing communications. Björn Borg chose to launch its latest spring collection with an online game and at the same time stand up for more love in the gaming world. The campaign was spread through PR and trailers online. It premiered in 3D through Oculus Rift, in store windows and Point of Sale displays at retailers such as NK and Selfridges, and through digital outdoor advertising in a number of markets. The game and campaign have to date produced over 25 million views on YouTube, where it was named “The Most Fabulous Game in the Universe” by PewDiePie.
Björn Borg’s runway show at Stockholm Fashion Week
The audience on opening night of Stockholm Fashion Week on August 24 was treated to a Mars-inspired display of Björn Borg’s spring 2016 collection produced by Show Director Naomi Itkes. They got an early glimpse of a collection themed “Training for Mars.” The most talked-about show at Fashion Week, it generated record–high PR value for Björn Borg in print media, TV and online.
Björn Borg’s fall campaign Sprinter
During the fall Björn Borg launched its first mobile fitness app – Sprinter – a free iPhone app that helps you to find workout buddies. In campaign images, the app was shown being used by athletes working out together to reach their goals. The campaign generated over 15,000 matches and has been downloaded by over 50,000 users in Björn Borg’s markets. Most importantly, the campaign, along with a smart media strategy, generated a great deal of online distribution and strong coverage in sports and fitness media.