Win or not, Chiefs brand still strong

De­spite Amakhosi’s re­cent strug­gles on the field, their mar­ket value and tele­vi­sion au­di­ences re­main high, writes Ti­mothy Molobi

CityPress - - Sport -

It does not mat­ter if South Africa’s glam­our club Kaizer Chiefs de­liver the goods on the field or not – the tills keep ring­ing. Spon­sors con­tinue to pump huge sums into the club’s cof­fers re­gard­less of whether they win tro­phies or fire blanks – like they have been do­ing this sea­son, and also in the pre­vi­ous one. This could also be the rea­son that the club is not quick to pull the trig­ger on coaches, even in the face of poor re­sults.

Sport mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist Kelvin Watt told City Press this week: “The re­al­ity is that very lit­tle com­mer­cial value has been lost by Kaizer Chiefs in the cur­rent sea­son due to not meet­ing the per­for­mance ex­pec­ta­tions of their fans.”

Watt, who runs Nielsen Sports, the premier provider of an­a­lyt­ics and in­sights within the sports in­dus­try, said Amakhosi have en­trenched them­selves in the mar­ket and were still very rel­e­vant de­spite their poor per­for­mances.

The club’s sup­port­ers have been call­ing for coach Steve Kom­phela’s dis­missal after a string of poor re­sults, but the Amakhosi hi­er­ar­chy have not budged.

Chiefs are now just one game away from their long­est win­less run in PSL his­tory. They are with­out vic­tory in open play in eight games, and just one game away from match­ing the nine-in-a-row win­less streak they recorded dur­ing the 2001/02 sea­son.

But calls for Kom­phela’s sack­ing have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Sup­port­ers might be boy­cotting games be­cause of the team’s poor run, as seen re­cently in the dwin­dling num­bers of fans at sta­di­ums, but Watt says it does not af­fect the bot­tom line. “Ticket rev­enue in South African foot­ball is a very small per­cent­age of in­come for a club like Chiefs. As they do not own their sta­dium, they are not los­ing out on goods, bev­er­ages and re­lated rev­enue ei­ther,” said Watt. He said Amakhosi’s tele­vi­sion au­di­ences re­main con­sis­tently strong and th­ese num­bers are still the best in the league. “Their share of PSL broad­cast rev­enue is fixed, so [this] is not af­fected.” Watt says even their main spon­sor, Vo­da­com, will not be af­fected. “In re­spect of their spon­sor­ship re­newal with Vo­da­com, their re­la­tion­ship has en­dured over many good and bad sea­sons. I do not be­lieve value will be af­fected by the cur­rent string of bad per­for­mances, es­pe­cially as they have a joint busi­ness ven­ture in Chiefs Mo­bile.” The only en­tity that might be af­fected, ac­cord­ing to Watt, is their shirt spon­sor­ship with Nike. “From a Nike per­spec­tive, they may lose some li­cens­ing rev­enue if fewer replica jer­seys are sold, but, over­all, they are in the first sea­son of a new long-term deal. So I do not see any ma­jor com­mer­cial drama for the club cur­rently.” Nielsen Sports is a premier provider of an­a­lyt­ics and in­sights within the sports in­dus­try, of­fer­ing one of the most re­li­able sources of in­de­pen­dent and holis­tic mar­ket data for the sec­tor, and com­pre­hen­sive views of con­sumer trends and habits world­wide

PHOTO: IKY PLAKONORIS / BACKPAGEPIX

ROUGH PATCH Ge­orge Lebese and his Kaizer Chiefs team-mates are go­ing through tough times on the field

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