Rugby, the sport but more importantly, our national team – the Springboks have proved once more that they undoubtedly – have the ability to make the people of South Africa unite. In the last few weeks, we saw and experienced the patriotism, camaraderie and the united voices behind our boys in green and gold. This came from all corners of South Africa, from different races, age groups and creeds.
This sporting code is able to make sure that South Africans put their differences aside and focus on the same goal. Our country and the African continent at large, have been going through a lot in the last few years. So, we definitely needed this #RWC2023 win. Everyone needed some positive news for a change and with that said: ‘Well done to our boy’s in green and gold, more importantly, thank you for bringing our hope back’.
Back to the topic at hand, I was very impressed by some bold and clever PR moves made by two companies in particular during this #RWC2023 period. The first one was Isuzu that took SABC 2 Morning Live presenter, Leanne Manas to the #RWC2023 in France. The objective for this opportunistic PR – made possible by Isuzu allowing the Morning Live crew to broadcast from the streets of Paris was not only clever, but also noble.
By broadcasting from France, Morning Live in collaboration with Isuzu was able to give ordinary South African fans, who cannot afford Pay TV – the opportunity to feel the #RWC2023 fever from the streets of Paris. This was an opportunity to tell the lifestyle and human-interest story from outside of the stadium.
They interviewed South Africans of all races, the affluent ones that were able to save enough money to fly themselves to France, to either watch the Semi’s and or the #RWC2023 Final. Isuzu used this opportunistic PR moment to not only entrench their brand, but to also bring the rugby fever to the doorstep of the less fortunate in South Africa via the public broadcaster.
Then it was MTN, the official sponsor of the Springboks team. The telecoms giant took about 40 stakeholders and customers of all races and backgrounds to France for the Final. This was done through a competition where MTN customers who are rugby fans were hosted by the company’s executives alongside some key South African dignitaries. The stakeholders and the winners of the competition were seen on social media posting their experiences as tourists in France, visiting some great historical monuments.
They finished off their trip by attending the most intense, yet fulfilling #RWC2023 Finale where our team, the #Bokke lifted the Web Ellis Cup once more. It is indeed true what Tata Mandela said about the impact of sport. He said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.
It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination”. This #RWC2023 was yet again another proud moment for South Africans – where the Springboks won the World Cup for the fourth time since 1995. The positive South African spirit that we enjoyed in the past few weeks complemented by this amazing win has once again proved that we are indeed: #strongertogether. Again, well done to the Springboks and the companies that used this opportunity to bring about some brilliant PR campaigns.