Ashe Versus

Ashe Versus



For the first time in history, a major brand shed a raw light on Arthur Ashe’s journey and achievements.

The Challenge

Using a breakthrough mRNA technology platform to create a new frontier in medicine, Moderna is an agent of change.

To promote their US Open sponsorship and align the Moderna brand with moving humanity forward, TBWA\Health Collective celebrated the life of one of the greatest change makers in tennis history: Arthur Ashe.

The Solution

For the first time in history, a major brand shed a raw light on Arthur Ashe’s journey and achievements—allowing Moderna to start an intimate conversation with its customers (who index high as tennis fans, sports enthusiasts, and equality supporters) and reinforce Moderna’s spirit, values, and actions.

The film is the core of the Moderna US Open Sponsorship, surrounded by a full suite of in-event activations, social media, and cut-down TV spots featured on ESPN. It follows Ashe from segregated tennis courts in Richmond, to being the first Black man to win the US Open, to his battles against apartheid, a heart attack, and HIV.

By the end, Moderna celebrates Ashe as a legendary Change Maker—connecting his contributions and values to the brand’s strategic North Star: This Changes Everything.   

The Results

Brand preference
Brand favorability

Celebrating an unexpected icon at a major sports event surpassed expectations. The effort led to a +7 points boost to brand preference, +70% brand favorability and a whopping 4.6X ROI, as measured by lift study.

The film was seen by ~14 million people within the target audience on linear TV and another ~3 million people on digital properties during the US Open.

Watch the Film

Watch the Case Study


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