Business of Sport

Sport industry v sport bosses

2011-10-05 14:09
George Marx
Comment: George Marx

Johannesburg - The Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards have now closed for entries with a record number of fantastic, innovative and exciting campaigns entering from some of our favourite household names – which proves an important point for the South African sport industry as a whole.

Everyone was expecting the sponsorship, activation and marketing budget to plummet after the FIFA World Cup jamboree left our shores last year, but I don’t believe that happened. My feeling is that the budgets have stayed more or less the same – the sport industry’s hierarchy have just spread the investment across different sporting codes and focussed on smarter, more thoughtful campaigns. None of those individual campaigns have the overall budget thrown at the FIFA World Cup, but many of them are more targeted, more intelligent and will prove to be more effective on many levels. This is the good news.

The bad news is that we have certain sport bosses – by no means all of them, but some influential and important figures – for whom the words ‘smarter’ and ‘more thoughtful’ do not always fit. Some of their comments, decisions and contributions are not only non-beneficial to their organisations, but run the risk of damaging the reputation and views of the South African sport industry, both internationally and locally.

Our boys are in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, hoping to be the first country to ever defend their title as world champions, and our coach seems unable to think about the wider implications of his comments. Cricket, meanwhile, is making great inroads on broadcasting deals and major sponsorships, but the people that front the sport – its leaders – need to understand that their bickering has a negative impact. If it affects fans – and ultimately reduces the number of bums on seats – that hits ticketing revenues and leaves broadcasters stuck with shots of empty stands. That isn’t something the game can afford, and that’s without even mentioning that some of those new sponsors might start to wonder what sort of sport they’ve stepped into.

My belief is that governing bodies need to feed off the marketing and sponsorship market to successfully put together leagues, competitions and, ultimately, World Cup campaigns. My question is this: when does the sport industry get to say to the sporting bosses that they have had enough of what is, all too often, bizarre or otherwise amateur governance?
My answer: I hope it will happen soon.

* The Business of Sport Column is produced in partnership with the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards 2012. Click HERE for more details...or follow us on Twitter: @SportindustrySA

George Marx is the International Business Development Manager at the Sport Industry Group – the organisers of the Virgin Active Sport Industry Awards.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Did Stormers and Springboks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit deserve to be named SA Rugby Player of the Year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.