Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Gor Mahia to unveil new shirt for 2010 season

After making it to the top 4 (and maybe still sneak into 3rd position), the Kenyan club with some of the most fervent support in the country unveils new uniform. Given that they might get an outside chance to play in the regional tournament, the club is set to be presented with the kit by the country's PM.

A flurry of activity has started as clubs look to position themselves for the next season and most clubs have been sending feelers to corporations who are starting to soften their stance towards sports and more specifically football. We'll watch and see what happens where.

2010 World Cup:
The final 6 slots to the World Cup in South Africa are decided tonight. The fixtures that stand out are France v/s Ireland and Egypt v/s Algeria. I foresee an upset in one or both. But then again,that's the armchair analyst in me talking !

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Breaking News :Football - Telkom Kenya wants in too !

Telkom Kenya has today added to the list of Kenyan corporates who are finally waking up to the reality of sports sponsorship. In a gesture towards CECAFA which was previously enjoying sponsorship from GTV ( Gateway Services)- which has since wound up, this is a major boost in confidence to the local and regional football fraternity.
Beating the deadline for hosting the tournament, Kenya almost dithered with the chance but thanks to some inspiration from the CECAFA Secretariat led by one Nicholas Musonye. The tournament will run in Nairobi and Mumias from November 28th to December 13th 2009. With KFF or KPL (or whoever runs football locally, I seem to get lost all the time) almost grounding our chances in the continental championships, let's hope the regional cup can be ours for the taking. Better watch out though for Rwanda and Tanzania...

Monday, 9 November 2009

Out Goes Virgin Air, In Come Kenya Airways

With rugby slowly trying to upstage athletics as the more lucrative sport in terms of sponsorship, the weekend was another milestone especially for the 7s. Kenya Rugby Football Union (KRFU) penned a deal with Kenya Airways to be their official shirt sponsors to the tune of KSh. 15 million for 2 years.

Logo courtesy of Kenya Airways

Out with the old and in comes the new. After seeing the mileage Virgin Atlantic gained by having the Kenyan boys wear the shirts, it was only natural that once Virgin's deal was over, a major Kenyan firm would take over. The package includes flying the team across the different cities (where possible). Good thing going thus far !
My concern though is the fact that we had to wait and see what Virgin would do (and gain) then we reacted to that. Why does it take foreign companies to realise that we can do more to sport than we currently are? There is just enough to spend on sport that would go a long way in changing the course for most these and the participants.
I also hope the boys keep their feet on the ground and grace us with some outstanding performances this time gunning for the top 4 finish in the IRB circuit (and hopefully a series win or two!).Ayimba kazi kwako !
Let's see more proactive corporates come forward. 2010's bound to be an interesting year for sport !

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Branding in Sports : Lessons from Usain Bolt

(Photos courtesy of NMG & Reuters)

He came, he saw, he conquered. Just like he's done on the 100 & 200m tracks, this athletics wonder-kid was at it again when he landed last week. He was even accorded audience with the powers-that-be, at one point even jokingly patting the Head-of State as they addressed the Press.
What do we learn from this?
1. Put a class act on the field :- Even before thinking of any antics (like Bolt gestures to cameras as he tries to calm his nerves) let your performances speak for themselves. Not just ordinary, EXCEPTIONAL !
2. Consistency :- In sports as in many things in life, consistency is a very important thing. This helps you remain relevant among the clutter of events you maybe participating in.
3. Committed :- Do not engage your fans if you are not committed to your sport. Fans will always see through any nonchalance and mediocrity means suicide not just among your fans but the purses too ( you can ask Mike Tyson).
4. Commit to a Cause :- As much as possible, commit to a cause beyond your sporting exploits. This helps you focus energies in the chosen cause and also helps stay grounded instead of engaging in harmful exploits and stuff that may cost you.
5. Flamboyance :- Though it may sound like a bad idea, be flamboyant in a nice way. We all know there are athletes, sports heroes who excel in their sport. But the GREATEST always EXCEL in their SHOWMANSHIP. Jordan, Ali and McEnroe are just some of those I can mention here.
6. Invincibility :- This is closely related to consistency. If you achieve the unachievable, please do not let us see your weaknesses. The minute we start seeing you tottering like a has-been gone is your hero status. Maradona in the 1994 World Cup is a good example here( maybe even NBA's Allen Iverson)

7. Smart Sponsorship(s):- As much as possible, DO NOT choose irrelevant products or brands to endorse.If they do not align with your goals and are not taking the extra mile to be what it takes, you go down with their premise. Be smart while choosing this.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Kenya Open – New Deal

Starting next year, Kenya's golfing premiere event will see a new sponsor following cancellation of Kenya Breweries flagship brand Tusker withdrawal (see previous article below). Kenya Golf Union's chairman said this after signing a deal with Icon Sports Marketing who has been given exclusive rights to find sponsors for next year's event. Icon Sports Marketing is a brainchild of Grace Kiraguri (she of Bamburi Cement and also actively involved in Rugby Safari Sevens) and Sam Mwai previously with Sports Stadia Management Board is part of the team. They have an enormous task of ensuring booty of KShs. 35 million to successfully host the event at the Muthaiga Golf Club. Incidentally Sam Mwai was once a staffer at the Golf Club so they should be in good company and this should not be a hard sell for them

Puzzling as it, unconfirmed reports have it that EABL has withdrawn from all sponsorships. Suicidal if you ask me!