Five years ago, on 1 October 2004, Exp Sponsorship, which forms part of the Exp Group, was established as a specialist sponsorship business in South Africa, in line with the groups' vision to diversify their business offering.
Exp Sponsorship's journey is an incredible one for a company that's been in existence for just five years, and according to one of the founding members of the company, Justin Sampson, now CEO of Exp South Africa, “It often feels like we've been doing this for 25 years.”
Just five years ago Exp Sponsorship started with a staff complement of two, one client and a turnover of just R1 million. Today, the company manages the sponsorship portfolios or specific campaigns worth over R100 million in billings for some of the country's top corporate sponsorship investors including Absa, MTN, Sasol, Yellow Pages, SAB and Nestlé in South Africa, and for campaigns for SAB and Coca-Cola in Africa.
Some of the exciting pieces of business picked up just this year, includes managing Sasol's sponsorship investment in women's football including a league for women and the national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, the Castle Passport to Football throughout Africa, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Africa Trophy Tour for Coca-Cola, through 11 African countries.
“The past five years has been incredible, and the growth can only be attributed to the great vision we had for our business, the support of committed business partners and a hard working staff compliment of now 45, and continuously challenging ourselves to think creatively and unequivocally delivering the best for each client,” says Sampson.
Exp Sponsorship entered the market, positioning itself away from the existing and traditional sponsorship offering, by adding “experiential marketing” to the sponsorship mix. Weaving an experiential marketing thought process through each sponsorship campaign, did more than just create awareness and brand association for big brands, but offered a platform to connect with customers in such a way that it would leave a lasting and memorable impression.
This unique approach to the sponsorship marketing discipline has seen Exp Sponsorship lauded by the industry with a plethora of awards, including a 14 gold, silver and bronze Marketing Excellence Awards and one Grand Prix Award, for various sponsorship campaigns over the past three years, voted Best Sponsorship Company by AdFocus in 2008, and voted by Tony Koenderman's Ad review, Sponsorship Agency of the Year for 2008/09, and Specialist Marketing Services Agency of the Year Award in 2009.
But while awards are great recognition for being on the right path, the company is determined not to let is cloud their vision: “While we're extremely proud of the company's growth and what we've achieved over the past few years, we don't for one second take our clients for granted. We do not compromise on developing the most unique sponsorship strategies and executing nothing but excellent campaigns for our clients. We do not compromise on quality in every aspect of our service offering to clients,” says another founding member, Sandile Ndzekeli, now MD of Exp South Africa.
“Our aim is to continue to offer a premium service to our clients and build their brands through sponsorship. We're looking forward to another exciting and impactful five years,” concluded Justin Sampson.
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