Piece Offering: Some Common Sense for the ANCYL…And A Word On Sponsorship & Branding

Funny I didn’t hear the ANC Youth League’s complaints about corporate sponsorships bestowed on many of our black celebrities. The Bonang Mathebas, Liras, Minnie Dlaminis, HHPs of this world-the list is endless. Frankly I would have a fit if they attempted to do that.

I was mildly shocked when a weekend newspaper reported that one of the most pressing issues on the ANCYL’s agenda in the past week was Oscar Pistorius’ obvious wealth. They questioned why he, a white male, received so much sponsorship from big corporations while the rest of the athletes with just as much ability are being overlooked. No, in fact, rephrase: The burning question was how Pistorius could be swimming in all his millions while black athletes are wallowing somewhere praying for sponsorship manna from heaven.

I’m just grateful that the ANCYL does not speak for me. No, thank you I can speak for myself. I certainly will not let a bunch of novices claim to speak on behalf of myself nor any other self-respecting youth about things they know nothing about. My initial reaction to the report was one of surprise at the utter misuse and abuse of race politics in South Africa. When a group of “youth” is not sure how they fit into the grand scheme of things in the country and, in particular, what their responsibility is towards the youth in general- it is easy for them to assume that muttering nonsense is the way to go.

Some of us clever blacks ala Jacob Zuma were clearly misinformed that the era of empty vessels ended with Julius Malema’s demise! So evidently I’m still not sure why the League does not lambast the countless opportunities afforded to our notable schlebs. Is the term “youth” mutually exclusive in our midst?

Now, let’s explore why some people don’t even have to canvass corporate for sponsorship. The first thing that came to mind was the word INFLUENCE; that is, how a particular person could use their social standing to increase awareness about a certain brand. This naturally equates to increased market share for the latter. At this point, this is just common senses rushing in-nothing has been researched yet- but we can attempt to draft something that the ANCYL may, in the basic terms understand.

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Secondly, to the best of my knowledge sponsors need to identify an individual who fits into the brand’s vision and goals. It is much easier for a corporate to sponsor someone who embodies that and can carry it through without much effort; as if it is second nature. Qualities such as competitiveness, presence, determination, resilience, strength and positivity are but some of the reasons why some individuals continue to reap the rewards of sponsorship heaven. In essence, it is a give and take-you scratch my back, I scratch yours- relationship where both parties benefit.

Corporate sponsorship “is an effective means of advertising for many organizations, because it promotes goodwill. Companies are more likely to spend large amounts of money sponsoring highly publicized events [and people] due to the amount of publicity that can be generated and the opportunity to be affiliated with a good cause or popular event”- Angela Stringfellow-

Therefore in all likelihood when one does not command the necessary presence (read: attention), sponsors won’t bite. There you go ANCYL! Now what do you make of that? Yet again the League has missed another important lesson (not just for failing to indicate their stance on the deteriorating state of education) in remembering that everything comes at a price. They certainly ignored the fact that Pistorius’ relationship with his sponsors came to a grand halt pending the outcome of his court case. Even then the relationship may not continue. Dear ANCYL, I have a dream…A dream that one day a school will open to cater for those with lack of…:-)

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