The inaugural Sport Industry Summit set for 25 October, will explore the continued growth of South Africa's sponsorship market, now worth almost R7bn.
This groundbreaking gathering at Deloitte's Johannesburg offices, will see international experts joining the country's market leaders at the summit to debate the future of a sector that has become essential to South Africa's sporting institutions.
The summit will include a dedicated sponsorship panel bringing together some of the most influential figures in the business of sport. Lynn Naudè, general manager of sponsorship and events at Absa, and Rob Fleming, group head of sponsorship at SAB Miller, will be joined by Mark Pannes, CEO of Italian soccer giants AS Roma, and the former chief marketing officer at Madison Square Garden, home of the NBA's New York Knicks and NHL's New York Rangers.
Debate by leaders of soccer, cricket and rugby
Their discussion will follow a unique round-table debate between the leaders of the country's leading sporting codes - soccer, rugby and cricket - with SARU CEO Jurie Roux, SAFA CEO Robin Petersen, and Cricket SA acting CEO Jacques Faul taking to the stage together to open the Sport Industry Summit. Of that R7bn sponsorship total, which includes leveraged spending and activation, more than 50% is spent in the sports overseen by those three men.
Although MTN's R125m per year deal with the FIFA World Cup 2010 remains the largest ever single sponsorship deal by a South African company, figures from leading independent research company BMI Sport Info point to a number of indications that the market could develop further; but also warn of the impact on South African sport should it suffer from any one of a number of potential crashes. A ban on alcohol sponsorship, for example, would immediately remove well over R1bn from the nation's sporting coffers.
Sport at a financial crossroads
"South African sport is at a financial crossroads which could either see it go from strength to strength or leave it struggling to provide what fans now expect from our leading clubs and organisations," commented James Monteith, director of BMI Sport Info. "All the signs are that the potential is there for continued growth - hopefully driving even greater performances from our international teams, Olympic athletes and national icons - but if we take our sponsors and their cash for granted or take our eye off the ball in what we deliver to them, the consequences would be severe."
The sport sponsorship field throws up many questions and subjects set for discussion and dissection at the Sport Industry Summit, from the balance found in acquisition over activation, to alcohol sponsorship in sport, to the role the broadcast media plays.
The Sport Industry Summit will feature an unmissable line-up of speakers, interactive workshops, pioneering panel discussions and unparalleled networking opportunities, with a stellar line-up of speakers and companies set to share their expertise, knowledge and experience - including official partners Virgin Atlantic and official sponsors Gallo Images and True Colour Events.
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