Sport our saviour
Big events have rescued ad industry
THANK GOODNESS for sport! All those international rugby, cricket and soccer events are proving the saviour of the South African ad industry this year, boosting sponsorship, eventing, promotions and advertising. Without it advertising would be in deep trouble. With it it’s only in shallow trouble.
“We’re unlikely to see something like this again,” says Franco Barocas, MD of sports and sponsorship marketing company Matchworld, “In six months we have hosted the IPL, and will be hosting the Confederations Cup, the British Lions and the ICC Champions Trophy (because Pakistan can’t host it).
“We’ve also had the Australian cricket tour – and there’ll be an England tour at the end of the year, leading up to the big one – the Soccer World Cup. It’s like the perfect storm but played out against a background of economic recession. Without all of this we’d be facing an exceptionally tough year.”
An unexpected windfall was the victorious Super 14 home final for the Blue Bulls. Sponsor Vodacom was a major winner.
As it is, Barocas says he’ll be “disappointed if Matchworld doesn’t double its income this year”. But he concedes with clients such as Coca-Cola, Telkom and the City of Ekurhuleni – all Soccer World Cup sponsors – he’s “one of the lucky ones”.
The marketing world is currently two worlds. “It’s divided into those who are part of 2010 and those who aren’t,” says Justin Sampson, CEO of sponsorship marketing company Exp. “We’re driving one strategy about 2010 but also looking for other opportunities.”
However, Sampson warns the sporting boom may be a false dawn. “The trend among our clients is to be conservative about sponsorship and event expenditure during 2009 in order to marshal their resources for 2010. My concern is they’re saving now and