Business of Sport

Bok send-off marketer's dream

2011-09-15 10:01
Sarah Mundy
Comment by Sarah Mundy

A marketer’s dream - the unprecedented moment where over 45 000 fans gather to bid farewell to the Springboks before heading off to the Rugby World Cup. 

Our joint initiative with LEAD SA, Absa, Supersport and the Department of Sport and Recreation produced a spectacular fans farewell event in Johannesburg’s Nelson Mandela Square and Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

As project and marketing manager on the event, I had to refurbish an event proposal to give witness to the local energy and emotive drive that would send our Springboks off with passion and strength in their hearts.  Watching the supporters demonstrated the unified love and support of the game - a testament to why SARU believes South African rugby can and does unite a nation. The farewell showed the world, fellow South Africans and all brands backing the Boks what it means to love the brand called Springbok rugby.

Televised live on Supersport and broadcast on radio stations around the country allowed fans who were unable to attend the day to experience the same energy. All event activations were focused on giving back to the fan while giving unconditional support to the squad.

SARU knows that retaining the Webb Ellis cup in New Zealand is a challenge the Springboks are eager to conquer so their appreciation of the farewell will further drive them to stand before their country as a team and individually with national pride.

The initiators were given the opportunity to convey their belief in brand Springbok and the South African fans that unite the country.

The Head of Corporate Affairs for Primedia, Yusuf Ambramjee welcomed fans and spoke of Bok pride and thanked his LEAD SA team, government officials and all those involved in creating an initiative as successful, while Absa’s Louis Von Zeuner spoke of the importance of backing the Springboks in his delivery to the crowd. 

SARU’s appreciation of the obvious support from government when Sports Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula expressed government’s patriotism of the Springboks with his momentous statements: “Long live the Springbok” and his powerful “Viva Bokke Viva”.

From a marketer's perspective when evaluating the day, I can undeniably comprehend why brand Springbok, is brand South Africa!

* The Business of Sport Column is produced in partnership with the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards 2012. Now in their second year, the Awards have officially opened for entries; an annual opportunity for the rapidly evolving South African sports market to be recognised for its work. Click HERE for more details...or follow us on Twitter: @SportindustrySA

Sarah Mundy is the Brand Manager at SA Rugby

Read more on:    saru  |  rwc  |  fikile mbalula  |  yusuf abramjee  |  johannesburg
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