Nick Kyrgios, Leander Paes Get Behind General Mills #MessFreeChallenge For Charity

November 5, 2020

What began as a social media campaign for the launch of Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets in Australia spearheaded by Nick Kyrgios turned into a global match between leading tennis players, and the winner is local food banks.

While the ball has bounced around the world, it landed in America with the #MessFreeChallenge being waged by U.S phenom and reigning Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin with her closing it out with a final challenge to her rival Polish teen sensation Iga Swiatek, the newly crowned Roland Garros women’s champion.

Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios began the #MessFreeChallenge last month 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. Unveiling it to his Instagram and Twitter followers, Kyrgios launched his #MessFreeChallenge, showing how easy it is to play tennis one-handed while eating an Old El Paso Tortilla Pocket.

Kyrgios then challenged Aussie legend Lleyton Hewitt and from there the competition soared, the tricks got crazier and the donations in each country took off, with 100,000 Old El Paso Mexican meal products/meals being donated to help local food banks and disadvantaged families across Australia, UK, France, Spain, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, UAE, Canada and USA.

While the competition is engaging for all these tennis stars and their fans, it is nothing compared to those around the world facing hunger every day.

“What started as a product launch in one market with a single tennis pro has grown into a star-studded world-wide tennis movement,” said Arjoon Bose, General Mills Head of Culture and Brand Experience for Europe & Australia.

“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 purposeful 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 our amazing tortillas.”

Nick Kyrgios said of the partnership: “It was super exciting to kick off the Old El Paso #MessFreeChallenge with my NK Foundation to launch the new Tortilla Pockets in Australia. 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.’’

Since Kyrgios started the challenge, ATP and WTA tennis players from Australia, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Croatia, Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, India, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the U.S. have participated.

Along with Kyrgios, Hewitt and Murray the other notable names from the tennis world included Grand Slam champions Sam Stosur and Garbine Muguruza and popular stars Gael Monfils, Elina Svitolina, Belinda Bencic, Benoit Paire & Genie Bouchard as well as Olympic champion Monica Puig, and Indian icon and doubles legend Leander Paes finally closing out with two of the hottest names in women’s tennis, Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek.

The #MessFreeChallenge comes alongside the commitment of General Mills, its Foundation and brands to address hunger globally through support for food banks and other hunger relief programs.