The Vodacom Cup features all 14 provincial rugby unions in South Africa, together with a provincial team from Namibia and Argentina. With many matches being played at smaller club venues away from the teams' traditional stadiums, the Vodacom Cup provided the perfect opportunity to involve different schools in surrounding communities.
"SA Rugby asked us to develop a campaign that would provide Vodacom, the tournament's sponsor, with a platform to leverage their association with local communities. The tournament provided the perfect opportunity to engage school children and grow their interest and passion for rugby at a grass-root level," explained Grant Hillary, MD of 34Sport.
The 2011 Vodacom Cup School Challenge was developed and the 14 provincial unions were invited to nominate a community match at which they would like to drive the campaign. Schools took part in a Skills-based Obstacle Course and Coaching Clinic on match day for a chance to win prizes and be entered into the Grand Prize draw for a 14-seater minibus for their school.
For every team, consisting of 10 learners, participating in the Obstacle Course, the school received one entry into the draw for the Grand Prize. The team that completed it in the shortest time received brand-new rugby balls.
"We focused on a maximum of 20 schools in the vicinity of the stadium and had a team of activators liaising with them in the build-up to the Vodacom Cup match. To build excitement ahead of the match, our activators visited the school during break time, running basic skill drills with them and creating some hype ahead of match day," explains Hillary. "On match day, the team of activators and coaches ran a Skills-based Coaching Clinic with the Obstacle Course and the boys and girls received T-shirts, lunch and the chance to watch their provincial rugby team live in action."
Awareness was created in community newspapers and on community radio stations through a media and PR campaign targeted at the relevant communities.
The campaign received fantastic post-event exposure with a number of the events being featured on the SuperSport programmes All Out Rugby and Boots & All, as well as segments on SuperSport Blitz.
The winner of the Grand Prize will be announced in the week of the Vodacom Cup Final.