Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sports and Sponsorships

As I write this, EABL has committed Kshs. 12 million for the Kenya Open Golf tournament to be held in April at the Muthaiga Golf club. Earlier this month, Safaricom committed another Kshs. 8 million to the Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Postal Corporation, Brand Kenya and DSTv added another Kshs. 0.5 million each towards sponsoring the event.
KCB continued its 5 year contract with KMSF with a bounty of Kshs. 30 million. Kenya Data Networks (KDN) will commit some Kshs. 6 million towards the local golfing scene for the events organised by Kenya Golf Union in the different clubs.
This is a positive step from Kenyan corporate companies which would have turned the other way claiming they are cost-cutting on their expenditure. I’m on the look-out for more companies which will join the queue and stand to be counted.
OK, Triton’s scandal didn’t do justice to the sponsoring companies sinking with over Kshs. 5 worth of sponsorship commitments. Internationally companies have been bailing out of sports sponsorship at an alarming rate. AIG, Vodafone, Nortel Networks are but a few of the main ones. Image courtesy of Brands of the World
What has perturbed me though is the low participation locally by companies in sports sponsorship and development of sports. Concern maybe expressed through the association officials who run the offices a backyard pawn shop. Government bureaucracy and nonchalance in some of the associations too leaves a lot to be desired.
But I believe its time companies realized there are better ways of communicating value to their targeted audience and sport is one universal way of doing this. It’s is for marketers to find ways of communicating this to different audiences. Traditional methods such as advertising are slowly becoming redundant and ambiguous. Let’s see how this unfolds in the coming months.

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