Competing for a cause
Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios began the #MessFreeChallenge that initially partnered with his NK Foundation as part of the launch of the Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets – a new product uniquely designed for mess-free Mexican mealtimes in Australia and Europe.
Kyrgios then challenged Aussie tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt and from there the competition soared.
The tricks got crazier and the donations in each country took off, with 100,000 products/meals being donated to local food banks.
While the ball has bounced around the world, it landed in North America with the #MessFreeChallenge waged from Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard to U.S. tennis phenom Sofia Kenin. And Kenin closed it out with a final challenge to her rival and teen sensation Iga Swiatek.
Bouchard and Kenin had a more difficult challenge since the Tortilla Pockets are not yet available in North America. So instead they showed off their skills using Old El Paso Tortilla Bowls.
“What started as a product launch in one market with one tennis pro has grown into a star-studded world-wide tennis event,” says Arjoon Bose, head of culture and experience for General Mills’ Europe & Australia Segment. “Following on from the popularity of the #MessFreeChallenge in Australia, Kyrgios rallied the tennis community from around the world starting with his good friend, the iconic Sir Andy Murray, to accelerate this compelling campaign into an example of international athletes acting as a united force for good in their communities – all while having some fun one-upmanship and enjoying some good tortillas.”
Along with Kyrgios, Hewitt, Murray, Bouchard, Kenin and Swiatek, the other names from the tennis world included Sam Stosur, Matt Ebden, Heather Watson, Leon Smith, Katie Swan, Freya Christie, Emma Raducanu, Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire, Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza, Belinda Bencic, Petra Martic, Karolina Muchova, Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova, Monica Puig and Leander Paes.
“It was super exciting to kick off the Old El Paso #MessFreeChallenge with my NK Foundation to launch the new Tortilla Pockets in Australia,” says Kyrgios. “I’m a big fan of Mexican food. The challenge was a fun initiative to help us feed disadvantaged families by donating to food banks. I’ve been encouraging everyone to have a go and it was amazing to see this go global. It’s been great to have the support of so many athletes to get behind this cause and let us give back together with Old El Paso.’’
Fighting hunger across the globe
The #MessFreeChallenge comes alongside the commitment of General Mills to address hunger globally through support for food banks and other hunger relief programs.
“As a global company, General Mills has the opportunity to make a difference in the communities that it serves. The Old El Paso #MessFreeChallenge is a great example of a brand using its size and scale to help those most in need around the world while bringing moments of joy in these times with popular sports personalities,” says Ivan Guillen, business unit director of World Foods for General Mills’ Europe & Australia Segment.