Flash Sponsorship MD Richard van der Schyff was in an ebullient mood yesterday after his selection to Team SA for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, taking place from 28 July to 8 August 2022 in Birmingham, UK.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me personally and for Flash” says van der Schyff. “Sport has always played an enormous role in my life, and to this day I still apply the analogy of training, playing & reviewing one’s performance to my life and my business.”
Having represented South Africa at the highest level, captaining the Springbok water polo team in 1998, he is fully aware of the responsibility that this selection brings. “Playing for one’s country is the ultimate achievement & honour, and with it comes a certain level of responsibility that this is not only about you anymore. You are playing for your family, friends and the whole country. It’s big”.
“And being part of the General Team Management for Team SA allows me to use my experience from another perspective. This time it’s from off the field and it’s all about making sure that the Team is prepared in the best possible way for the Games which will allow them to deliver gold for their country”.
In late 2020, Flash Sponsorship secured Mr Price Sport as the Official Technical Apparel partner to Team SA, in which the proudly South African business was tasked with producing both performance and leisure gear for the team. “One of our goals was to see a South African athlete dressed in Maxed Elite clothing on the podium at Tokyo 2020” said the then head of marketing Dylan Cherry “and we certainly achieved that”.
Drawing on the learnings from Tokyo 2020, the Mr Price Sport team have designed and delivered an enhanced range for Birmingham, one that they are confident the team will excel in.
And part of these learnings was the distribution of the kit to both Federations and Athletes alike, and NightwinG Logistics Solutions have stepped up to deliver for Team SA. Collecting, packing & distributing 15,500 items of clothing is a mammoth task requiring a complete operational and logistical solution to ensure the athletes start their journey to Birmingham with the best experience possible and ensuring that they have one less thing to worry about.
Domestic flights (from Cape Town for now) will be handled by innovative local airline LIFT. And the business end of the journey will be fulfilled by Turkish Airlines. Both deals negotiated and secured by Flash Sponsorship.
But what does attending the Commonwealth Games mean for Flash and our clients?
One of the positive outcomes of Covid-19 (besides the ability to pivot) is the ability to operate remotely. “We live this now as part of our daily routines, whether you’re in JHB, Hermanus or Durban, TEAMS has allowed us to connect seamlessly as an agency, with our clients, sponsors and prospective sponsors.
Gill Fraser, Flash’s Business Director, relocated to Hermanus during the first hard lockdown and hasn’t looked back. “The opportunity to work remotely full time is a blessing which I’m very grateful for. I’m driven by deadlines and checklists, so have managed to achieve the same, if not more, by being based at home, and whether Richard is in Joburg, Durban or Birmingham, our daily routines remain the same. “
“These days our lives are in the palm of our hands, and an international data card & my ear pods will complete my mobile office. Added to that, Birmingham is an hour behind SA and that means maintaining contact, joining meetings & responding to queries can happen in real-time,” said van der Schyff.
“To experience one of the largest summer sporting jamboree’s in the world, second only to the Summer Olympics, is a fantastic opportunity to learn & observe the latest in sports commercialisation, marketing and sponsorship tactics first- hand.
Our goal is to do deals for our clients, and this is the perfect opportunity to expand our network for our clients, observe commercial best practice, rights implementation & protection and then to transfer this knowledge to our market.”
As with everything, we try to maintain ourselves on the leading edge of our industry, and this requires constant learning, evaluating & benchmarking against the world’s best.
The Commonwealth Games presents us with an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and gain first hand activation inspiration to add value to our clients. “I will be based in the athletes village & will experience the latest in sponsorship & brand activation first-hand. It’s the ability to engage & influence that is foremost in marketers minds and I’ll be watching carefully to see how this is executed”.
One of Flash’s key delivery pillars is the education of the SA Sponsorship industry. “We represent the European Sponsorship Association and knowledge & insights engine Activative in South Africa, and as both of these businesses are domiciled in the UK, this is the perfect opportunity for me to connect with their Principles on their home ground as it were, and to bring further value back to our market.”
Energised and enthused, hungry & thirsty for knowledge, it promises to be an experience of a lifetime. Bon voyage!