Business of Sport

Is Oscar SA's most marketable?

2011-08-29 11:12
Oscar Pistorius (AP)
David Brooke

Cape Town - South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius has become the poster boy for athletes with a disability and has broken down barriers between the ‘Paralympics’ and the ‘Olympics’. The Paralympics still has a long way to go in terms of global appeal but Pistorius has made sure that athletes with disabilities have an equal opportunity to test themselves against able-bodied athletes on the biggest stage – he’s even started outshining some of the golden men and women who light up the athletics world.

Whilst many people were talking about the prospect of Usain Bolt breaking his own 100m world record at the IAAF World Championships currently taking place in Daegu, South Korea (that didn’t end too well now did it?), Oscar was wooing the crowd with his feel-good story. Pistorius made history on Sunday when he became the first athlete with a disability to run at an able-bodied World Championship and proved that he was not just there to make up the numbers, qualifying third in his heat to earn a spot in Monday’s semi-finals.

Pistorius’ welcome in South Korea has been unprecedented and the public have taken to him like no other South African sportsman or woman before. He’s South Africa’s superstar on a world stage, which begs me to question, is he currently the most marketable South African sportsperson on a global stage?

Sponsors are clamouring to be associated with him, with the likes of Nike, Oakley, British Telecoms, Thierry Mugler, international law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, the Combined Motor Holdings Group and global leaders in orthopaedics, Ossur, signing on with the Blade Runner to help him reach his goals and take brand ‘Oscar’ to an international audience.

There’s also been talk about a possible movie of Oscar’s life, a movie which wouldn’t be made if it didn’t have global appeal. Can you see a movie of Steven Pienaar’s life being screened in America? I for one can’t, despite Steven Pienaar being one of the most marketable sportsmen in South Africa and abroad.

If you look at brands such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, you will notice that they now venture to Asia during pre-season in order to boost their brand internationally. The number crunchers know the kind of money the club can make via such a huge audience and it seems like Oscar is heading that way too with his popularity at these recent World Championships. I’m expecting even more companies to jump on the Oscar bandwagon as it rolls into the London Olympics in 2012.

You see, there’s something unique about Oscar, he makes us all believe that anything is possible and if you set your mind towards a goal, you can’t let anything stand in your way of reaching it.

David Brooke is the Commercial Manager at


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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Caster Semenya has been nominated for the 2018 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. Which of the nominees deserves the award most?

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.