Fri Dec 09 07:45:50 SAST 2016

IPL gives our sport lessons

By unknown | 2009-05-18 00:00:00.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The staging of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa has given free and compulsory marketing education to our sports bosses.

The staging of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in South Africa has given free and compulsory marketing education to our sports bosses.

Due to unrest in India, IPL organisers brought the money-spinning tournament to South Africa for the safety of the players, officials and fans.

Hardly a week after the historic announcement, major South African cities were painted red with posters and billboards promoting the tournament.

Print and broadcast media were also flooded with advertisements of the tournament that features the best cricketing talent in the world.

Attendance has been good at these matches in all the cities, thanks to the IPL's powerful national marketing drive.

On the flip side, the opening match of the IPL coincided with the men's and women's Soweto Open as well as the Davis Cupmatcvhes at the refurbished Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Soweto.

While our tennis bosses knew a long time ago that they will be staging these competitions, they did little if anything at all to market these tournaments. Hence attendance at the tennis tournaments was poor.

I refuse to blame Soweto residents. Some of them were surprised to see abelungu coming in and out of the tennis complex.

I pass Soweto to and from work daily and I don't remember coming across a single poster or a billboard advertising the tennis tournaments.

It was the same with soccer bosses recently.

It had to take Fifa president Sepp Blatter to express his disenchantment at the poor marketing of the Confederations Cup to push the Local Organising Committee (LOC) into gear.

He said he did not see a single poster on the Confederations Cup.

Blatter urged the LOC and host cities to aggressively market the tournament at strategic points like airports.

It is now history that South African townships and suburbs are awash with billboards and posters on the Confederations Cup.

A basic marketing rule is never to assume that people will come to your event because they heard about it on radio or television.

It is high time that our sports federations start employing the right people to market their brands.

They should take a leaf out of the IPL marketing.

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