SAFA poised to score own goal

2011-05-10 10:08

Cape Town - The intended name change of Bafana Bafana could prove to be a devastating move by The South African Football Association (SAFA), generating unnecessary expense and eroding the emotional ties that many fans have with the existing brand.

This is according to Frikkie Herbst, Professor of marketing at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) who says that establishing a comparable international brand like Bafana Bafana will be more expensive than buying, growing and re-enforcing the existing brand.

It recently emerged that Wayne Smidt, owner of Stanton Woodrush (Pty) Ltd, the company that holds 100% of Bafana's trademark rights would sell his trademark at a price tag of R41 million.

According to Herbst, this is not a huge amount when you consider the financial translation of the events that have led to Bafana Bafana becoming a household name.

“The success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the dramatic opening goal of the tournament has firmly established Bafana Bafana as a local and international brand. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to create such a connection to a name without the help of hosting a World Cup,” he says.

Furthermore, as a result of the World Cup, and the years preceding the event, fans from all over the world proudly own Bafana Bafana t-shirts, scarves, beanies and other merchandise.

Herbst says that most fans are unlikely to replace outdated souvenirs with the new brand as the Bafana-branded merchandise represents a sentimental souvenir of a once-in a-lifetime event and not just a team they support.

Herbst believes that the funds spent on creating and building a new brand could be better spent on increasing the brand value of the Bafana Bafana name through improved performance on the field.

“A new name will not change the performance of our team. The funds that seem to be available for a re-branding, if directed towards training, skills development and team selection could have a significant effect on the team’s results and ultimately increase the worth of the Bafana Bafana name.”

He also warns that if SAFA intends to change the name they have to acknowledge the millions of supporters that identify with the current name.

“People need to look at South Africa’s past, especially on an emotional level to understand the way that consumers connect to the Bafana Bafana brand. It is a brand owned by the nation that has been built up over several decades,” concludes Herbst.


  • G7 - 2011-05-10 10:19

    just pay the guy ,stop thinking about bonuses for yourselfs.Why must everythink in SA become big before settling at the end we all know they are going to pay rather sooner than later as we can always use the legal fees for something else .

      gertie - 2011-05-10 11:00

      Agreed - they'll make up the deficit soon enough, return on investment will be quicker than to try and establish a new brand - that and there will be little faith in the new brand - as the question will lurk - how long will this name last?

      Andrew - 2011-05-10 12:52

      I Agree, pay the dude and move on...or.....Maybe SAFA would rather give the money to cronies that would get the new marketing projects. R41M is not a bad price. Pick n Pay spent in the region of R160M in rebanding their logo and Vodacom is busy spending over R200M to turn themselves red. So R41M is a good deal.

  • Soccer fan - 2011-05-10 10:42

    Wayne Smidt should be the one hanging his head in shame

      Vaal Donkie - 2011-05-10 10:46

      Why? If everyone in South Africa likes your house, should it be taken from you without compensation and turned into a monument?

      Kaapie - 2011-05-10 10:53

      Bafana Bafana and international brand..hardly. I think this prof has connctions to Smiedt.. for small bonus of say R2m I'll say anything..well almost. Bafana is a crappy name in any case

      clark - 2011-05-10 10:55

      - Hmmm - and if you had had the foresight and initiative and held the reg. trademark ? What then ? Simply abandon your rights for free ? Watch silently as SAFA was coining money from the brand ? Your logic is simplistic and narrow. Wake up to reality.

      RL - 2011-05-10 11:42

      @clark - oh what rubbish you douche, wayne smidt had the initiative to take a name coined by a black journalist and register it and now is demanding a small fortune for something that never ever belonged to him in the first place.

      RL - 2011-05-10 12:37

      @clark - bloke the only reason you have access to a computer or that you have anything in this world is because you had the silver spoon stuck in your gob your entire life. your grandparents and their grandparents raped, killed and plundered from the indigenous people of this land for centuries to obtain their bloodied wealth and land that has afforded you your misplaced arrogance. suffice to say i do not expect you to grasp a moral concept.

      clark - 2011-05-10 13:11

      - Listen you imbecile - Keep your political tripe out of this discussion. You don't know me or my background. You revert to a racist chant , like your political party, when your limited brain power is at a dead end and your arguments have flopped. I have every right to express my views and do not deny you yours. If those views differ from yours , why do you find it neccessary to hurl offensive and derogatory insults ? I'm surprised you did'nt pull the ' leave the country- we wont miss you' garble. I guess that's still coming. In summary , you are useless at debating issues and it's your type that are the cause of all the disharmony in this country. Moving on ....

      RL - 2011-05-10 13:59

      offensive and derogatory insults? its called history my currently advantaged countryman and you should appreciate it because it has benefitted you a great deal. you screw anyone over to make a quick buck or 41 million and then throw your hands up at the corrupt atrocity that is the ruling party. hypocrisy thy name is ...

  • ktr - 2011-05-10 10:45

    Just change it. The cricketers used to be called springboks. Anyone even remember that? How many stadiums have changed names recently? Just change it, a week later people will have moved on.

  • Greg - 2011-05-10 10:49

    Smidt is just plain greedy. A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. Now he will get nothing.

      Hayden - 2011-05-10 11:58

      By the sounds of it..... Frikkie Herbst is in the deal with Smidt to get a share of the money!

      G - 2011-05-10 12:12

      Greg I am sure he did not just thumbsuck a figure, I have no doubt there are propoer financials to show the worth of this category!!!

  • Refilwemu - 2011-05-10 10:51

    This article is BULLS**To be modest and SAFA must never should listen to the vested interest IDIOT

      infidel - 2011-05-10 11:15

      Eish!!! Say what???

      windkind - 2011-05-10 11:45

      Never use the word "idiot", when you can't write, use grammar or use words in the correct context. The irony is just too much to bear.

      G - 2011-05-10 12:11


      Eric West - 2011-05-10 12:48

      English much, my boy?

  • Jack Sparrow - 2011-05-10 11:19

    Note to SAFA: Call the team BAFANA - save R30m and move on for heavens sake and drop the 2nd Bafana and in no time the country will call the team Bafana. You will have then out foxed and devalued the squatter of the Bafana Bafana category. Register BAFANA in Clause 25 and get on with it.

      Hayden - 2011-05-10 11:54

      Sounds great!

      G - 2011-05-10 12:10

      Naive........check your facts jack!! That wont work!

  • jeremy - 2011-05-10 11:21

    The Bafana name is something that belongs to every soccer fan in the country. It's NOT something that can be played around with and changed just because some bozo in SAFA forgot to register the name as a trademark. SAFA must simply acknowledge their incompetence, eat humble pie and buy back the Bafana name. And they should forego their bonuses for their stupidity in not registering the name in the first place....

      Mike - 2011-05-10 11:40

      totally agree Jeremy! SAFA must just resolve the issue and get on with it!! enough already!!

      G - 2011-05-10 12:09


  • Jackool - 2011-05-10 11:28

    I'm a bit in the dark here? Did this guy actually come up with the name? Or did he maybe buy it from someone? Or was Bafana Bafana a term the people and fans used, long before he slapped a trademark or some other official document on it?

      RL - 2011-05-10 11:46

      thats exactly the point a black journalist coined the name and this opportunist simply registered it. he didnt pay for it, he didnt have the creativity to come up with the name and now acts as if the county owes him something. i accept the legal implications however morally wayne smidt is a douche of the highest order ...

  • Beedyeye - 2011-05-10 11:28

    I have a new name for them Banana Banana! Bunch of nitwits.

  • Clint Brash - 2011-05-10 11:29

    Just goes to show that it is all about politics and not about the sport and or development of it. If its business, then I think and the name is registered correctly to Mr Smidt then I see no reason why he cannot ask for the price tag he wants for it. Obviously he saw the potential in it and took the initiative to invest into it. Its his lively hood and people want to take it away then that is his right to part with it on his terms. But I really do believe the SAFA must focus more on development of the game. A new name will mean nothing until we can start creating our own international recognized local superstars ( Chunky Bennie doesn't count ).

  • Mike - 2011-05-10 11:36

    Bafana Bafana is registered in all its combinations its like say register Chiefs instead of Kaizer Chiefs you can register just Bafana !!! Bafana is an internatioanl brand everywhere you go in the world people know 3 things of South Africa: Bafana Bafana, Vuvuzela and Madiba !!! I agree with the prof changing the name will cost more than R40 million ask Vodacom how much they spent to rebrand over R200 milion!! so just buy this frikkin mark in class 25 and sign your new technical sponsor Puma! SAFA you are embarassing yourself just get on with it!

      Mike - 2011-05-10 11:36

      I meant you cant just register Bafana in class 25!

  • Gore - 2011-05-10 11:40

    There is nothing that can not be replaced. Just name it Bafana or a complete new name and save money. If OR Tambo international airport got a new name, why can't an average team's name not have a new one. In future for us who hold items of Bafana Bafana, they may become some valuable souvenirs in a few decades. Greed capitalist, let him keep the name that is worth "R40 million"

      tendanic - 2011-05-10 12:10

      I cant agree with u more. Its easy to change the bafana name, and even less costly than changing OR Tambo. It would be such a useless expenditure to buy a national brand from an individual.....let him keep it

  • Sithembiso Simelane - 2011-05-10 11:50

    I totally agree with this. SAFA should just pay the R41m and we move on.

  • Hayden - 2011-05-10 11:51

    This sounds like some fairy tale story with a greedy idiot wanting to milk our country from a wopping R41m. Mr Wayne Smidt, you should ashame yourself for your glutoness. One day when my kids grow up I'll tell them about the African Cup of nations we won, the big world cup we hosted &the greedy businessman who thought about nothing but make his pockets big &rob our heritage of a household name. Its true what the bible says: "Mans heart is wicked" & you Mr Smidt are no different. SAFA get anoda name &let us not be bound by one greedy mans ransom. We can build a new leagacy of the breed of youngsters under Pitso. I suggest we run a competition 4a new name &award the winner with a fraction of the shameful price of R41m. I'm DISGUSTED IN U MR SMIDT!

      tendanic - 2011-05-10 12:06

      If they buy that name, i dont think anyone will be happy that it now belongs to the nation anyway. People easily forget....................Hans Strijdom Drive in Jo'burg North was renamed to Malibongwe drive, nobody even remembers that it was renamed!!! We can get off this belittling "bafana bafana" name soon.

  • G - 2011-05-10 12:04

    The reason why Danny Jordaan is pushing for the name change is because HE PERSONALLY stands to make money from the change. Are you aware how much commission he can make from ad agencies, ad placemewnts and the likes!!

  • G - 2011-05-10 12:08

    Mr Smith was pro-active by registering the name while SAFA were SAFA idiots are being RE-active and spiteful, trying to get the whole country against Mr Smith instead of admitting they F.......Up in the first placed when Mr Daniel Jordaan was CEO and too doff to realise!!

  • lungile Adams - 2011-05-10 12:20

    South Africas past is doggy people only want us to look at it when they are going to get R41m. I say change that name an call the team Bafana.... that is still legal

  • msimeki - 2011-05-10 12:27

    I say just translate the name to Venda. 'Vafana Vafana'...It'll sound the same but spelled differently.1 of our 11 languages. :-D

  • Lekabisto - 2011-05-10 12:38

    Well, Safa was Doff and Mr Smidt was proactive, however to try and milk the country out of over 40 million?, that is just plain greedy!! Let the man keep the name and just have SAFA change it to something completly new, since the country will move on anyways with the new name change and have the Bafana Bafana name loose its R41m value in time, and lets be done with this already.

  • Mpho R - 2011-05-10 12:45

    What Mr Herbs is saying is a white lie. I own a WC jersey and it is not written Bafana and I didn't buy it because the national team is called Bafana. Marketing people completely abuse the word 'Brand' for obvious reason. It is like the way IT people abused the word Y2K to make a killing. How much was spent to create Bafana as a 'brand'? Zilch, results matter much more than any marketing. It is similar with all the place names that have changed post 1994. The only 'marketing' that I am aware of to embed the change is via the weather news on TVs. There is no single RSA resident who won't know that we have a national soccer team a day after the name is change to something else. By the way, they don't even have to change the colour scheme on the jerseys. After all, the name Bafana is just nickname

  • Marcell - 2011-05-10 12:54

    What would have happened if the brand belong to Danny Jordaan or jz father in law?

  • shakie - 2011-05-10 15:20

    There is really no need to waste R41M for a nick name - there is no direct benefit associated with Bafana Bafana name, the T-Shirts are bought not because of Bafana's name, but bacause RSA host the SWC. Change it and we will sing the new song, I mean why are we not calling every president of RSA Madiba, because this is recognized globally - when u change name etc, the world follow and judge u on the outcome, not on the name change - have have changed a lot, from Transkei, Bophuthatswana,Naboom etc so why not, after all - CHANGE IS GOOD. Oooooh, we even change the National Athem and i never heard any country completing that we change - so stop milking our few rands from the world cup and channel it to developments.

  • shakie - 2011-05-10 15:21

    complaining - ag! "spelling lesson"

  • shakie - 2011-05-10 15:23

    Now let me make it political - we change from white regime to black regime - no country run away from doing business with us - hahahahahahahahahahahaha! no ofence. Ok, maybe in future some country MIGHT, but as we stand, we are part of BRICS, so change the damn name.

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  • emzozo.. - 2011-05-10 17:56

    what was bafana bafana before ??? any name can n will be changed.... Name does not affect play the aim of a soccer is to win games.. The team OWNT Loose because of a bad name !!!!! any name will do , Just name the team SAFA!!!! TEAM

  • Santapola - 2011-05-11 11:18

    how come a white guy came with a name? did he use our blacks to come up with this?

  • KwenaYaMadib - 2011-05-11 13:23

    Professor is talking nonesense. The fact that a new name is being coined does not mean I have to rush and buy a new jersy, nor does it mean that I have to get rid of the old one. The fact of the matter is that anything I buy in future, with a new name, will be bought because I like the shirt and not the simple logo on it, and will also mean more money accrue to SAFA. It is like saying black South African supported supported the springbok logo during the SA RWC, when they infact supported the team itself, which team happened to have springbok as their logo and nickname. Bafana Bafana has never been markerted as a brand. You simply market the team and people buy because they follow the team, not becuse they think BB is a nice name.

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