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After a lengthy break in the format, and like a breath of fresh air, it was invigorating to attend the #WFSAfrica in Durban this week.

Football is the world’s largest sport with audience and industry to match, a crucial market to have a presence in. We were privileged to be hosted by our client COSAFA at the Summit, where we connected with old friends, made plenty of new ones, rubbed shoulders with other doyens of the industry – live and in person!

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I’m happy to report that the football industry is alive & well, and with some mandatory glitz and glamour the WFS delivered in style, including an intimate & up close performance by the world renowned Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

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Incredible performance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

So what did we learn?

  1. The leadership position that COSAFA has in Southern African football, indeed being the most organized & efficient Association across the African continent, developing the beautiful game in the region & delivering solid returns to its sponsors, was once again reinforced.
  2. Knowing & understanding your audience, what makes them tick and how to engage them has never been more important: this will allow one to develop a social strategy, content creation & audience development in the digital world that can be monetised & leveraged to deliver value to sponsors.
  3. Sustainable economic & social programmes provide legitimacy & social currency within local communities that tournaments take place within are non negotiable imperatives
  4. Women’s sport continues to grow and align to society’s demand for inclusivity & equality, and football delivers on this.
  5. Stick to the basics of sponsorship: leverage the rights acquired to allow for the transfer of engagement, passion & indeed love that exists between a sport & its fans to your brand.

Two days with a packed agenda, returning with a full to-do-list and a happy heart that we are on the right path for our clients and the industry as a whole. Time well spent & already looking forward to next year’s edition.

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