In 2004/5, Exp Sponsorship negotiated a sponsorship for mining power house Gold Fields Ghana for the Ghana National Team, better known as the Black Stars, and the Ghanaian Football Association (GFA).
The Exp Sponsorship team at the FIFA World Cup in Germany, from left, Ian Taylor, Sandile Ndzekeli, Yolanda Arendse, Justin Sampson.
Gold Fields Ghana's intention was to use sponsorship to support Ghana both from a political and public perspective and to ensure that their 'national asset' the Black Stars qualified for the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany. For Gold Fields Ghana it was a platform to take the Gold Fields Ghana brand to the people by adding value to their everyday lives: offering support to their National Team but simultaneously lifting the profile of the company by contributing to a national asset. Thus a strategy was put in place for all Ghanaians to 'dare to dream' that their team could make the FIFA World Cup for the first time in their history - the strategy was themed "Shaping the Dream".
This is where Exp Sponsorship stepped in. Exp Sponsorship held discussions with various key role players which included the Minister of Sport, the acting President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and local broadcasters GTV and TV3, the general public and local experts.
After an intensive research and consultative process, Exp Sponsorship advised Gold Fields Ghana of the role they could play in boosting national pride in a market within which they operate, by sponsoring the national team and formulating a strategy for success in the 2008 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), which Ghana will be hosting.
Towards the end of 2004, Ghana had won the right to host the AFCON in 2008, they were lying second on the log in their World Cup 2006 qualifying pool and their two top teams had qualified for the final of the 2004 CAF Confederations Cup (the first time two teams from the same country to have qualified for the finals). All of this had given Ghana football renewed hope and the sport impetus for the future!
Gold Fields Ghana agreed to a three year sponsorship term, including a bonus scheme for qualification into major competitions (AFCON & FIFA World Cup), as well as bonuses for getting into knockout stages of competitions, etc.
With the support of Gold Fields Ghana, it didn't take too long for the dream to crystalize into something more tangible. With a strategy including financial and administrative resources firmly in place, The Black Stars qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Germany beating the likes of South Africa, Cape Verde and Burkina Faso to finish top of their Group. As this was Ghana's first ever World Cup qualification, emotions ran high and the nation's pride swelled.
On the 9th of June, 18 months after the Gold Fields Ghana sponsorship relationship had started, a very proud Ghanaian Football Team joined the world's top 64 football teams at the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Exp Sponsorship's Group MD, Justin Sampson, and Exp Regional Director for Ghana and Nigeria, Ian Taylor, who each played a crucial role in developing and negotiating the Gold Fields Ghana sponsorship deal of the Black Stars, joined the Gold Fields Ghana delegation of MD's and country ministers in Germany.
The Honorable J Boahen Aidoo, Ghana Western Regional Minister, could not contain his emotions after Ghana's last group stage match, which saw them finishing second on their Group D log and qualifying for the Last 16 round: "Who would have thought 18 months ago when Gold Fields Ghana and Exp started this relationship with the National Team and the GFA, that we would find ourselves at the 2006 FIFA World Cup winning matches. And now to have made it past the group stages and qualified for the knock out Last 16 round, is simply a dream come true. Gold Fields Ghana has really helped our national team to shape their dream. We are a proud nation today."
Ghana's football history proudly includes legendary footballer Abedi Pele (three time African Footballer of the year), and they are definitely seeing the fruits of the Gold Field relationship coming to fruition again in the likes of Michael Essien who plays for Chelsea and Stephen Appiah who plays for Galatasaray in Turkey.
Exp Sponsorship Group MD, Justin Sampson and Directors Sandile Ndzekeli and Yolanda Arendse, along with ex-Exp Regional Director Ian Taylor and Exp Ghana Sponsorship Manager, Neil Armstrong, spent time in Germany hosting Gold Fields Ghana and looking after the team's media relations for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. (Exp Sponsorship also manages some of the Ghanain national team squad).
Exp has 21 offices across Africa and has a combined sponsorship and event experience of over 50 years. Having now also experienced and learnt first hand from being involved in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with the official sponsors of the Ghanaian Black Stars - Gold Fields, Exp is in a great position to consult to possible partners of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Written by Yolanda Arendse and Justin Sampson
Yolanda Arendse is PR Director and Justin Sampson is MD of Exp. Sponsorship, a division of Exp Momentum (www.expmomentum.com), part of the Exp. Africa group.
Yolanda () has practised Sponsorship PR as a specialist for the past 11 years, having worked on several blue chip sponsorship accounts across sport, lifestyle and entertainment. Yolanda is the recipient of a number of Raptor Sponsorship Awards.
Justin () has extensive knowledge of the sponsorship industry, having worked on several blue chip accounts and won a number of awards for his work.