Wednesday, 16 May 2007

What might as well be a good run, Touch-down!

Tusker Safari Sevens! This is one of the few sweet stories coming from sometimes disappointing Kenyan sports-scene. This year marks the 12th edition since the event started. It’s grown to be a major sports event on the Kenyan sports calendar.
A round of applause goes to Kenya Rugby Football Union-KRFU under the watchful eye of current chair, Mr. Richard Omwela. They have consistently been able to attract a host of teams’ local and international as well as a breed of fans that have become faithful to the game over the years.

A second round can go to East Africa Breweries Limited for marking out the event as one of its flagship events where it acts as the main sponsor. This has become a powerful sports event (brand) not just locally but regionally. See what creative marketing does for a company?
This has meant a huge boost to their promotion of their flagship product-Tusker-which is identified as togetherness, endurance and strength.
I am not sure but I am of the opinion that KRFU should now pursue a place in the International Rugby Board –IRB Sevens circuit. The Kenyan team has shown great improvement albeit with intermittent poor results.
It would also be important to note some things that ought to be considered not just now but for the continued success of the event include;
- sale of the tournament’s TV rights,
- production of event memorabilia/promotional items,
- Additional sponsors to aid in providing support services such as media coverage, entertainment, catering, transport, hosting visiting teams and catering as a few examples.

In addition as told by Neil Mackenzie –of Ogilvy One-Head of Sports Marketing and Events; sports marketing and especially Tusker Safari Sevens has had problems in selling the event. This is in the form of TV rights where there are no competitive advertisers to title sponsors, post-production as well as overseas and satellite programming (DStv for example), selling airtime and screen branding to mention but a few. It is said that in Kenya there is little trust by investors in sporting rights owners’ ability to deliver and production houses are not capable of exciting and engaging the audience (both TV and live).
But when all’s is said and done, I think Mr. Richard Omwela you are onto a good thing. Kenya teams keep pushing! I’ll be blowing the horn in June 2007!

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