As we all know, the father of the South African nation, Nelson Mandela is critically ill with a lung infection. As we approach his 95th Birthday on the 18th of July he will be in all of our thoughts, wishing him a speedy recovery. Mandela’s charisma and influence affected many facets of our nation, from politics to sports, many claiming that his very presence is what contributed to the Springboks winning the 1995 Rugby world cup.
In support of Mandela and his upcoming birthday, two of South Africa’s best known sports brands Bafana Bafana (football) and the Springboks (rugby) will be taking part in upcoming sporting events. Bafana Bafana will be taking part in two matches (as opposed to the traditional 1) as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge. Bafana will take on Nigeria (Afcon champions) on the 14th of August and then they will challenge Burkina Faso on the 17th of August. On the same day the mighty Springboks will be taking on the Argentinians as part of the Castle Lager Rugby Championships.
Not only has Nelson Mandela positivly impacted the sporting landscape of South Africa but through the lifting of sanctions on South Africa in September 1993 under Mandela's rule, South African brands were able to expand globally. Brands such as Nando's, taking full advatnage of this, have opend up restaurants in 30 countries on five different continents. We also now see the expansion of Famous Brands into the UK. Having already opened and operated the Wimpy franchise, Famous Brands will now be opening the ever popular Steers francise, giving South African Expats a taste of home, and local Brits a taste of excellence.
Nick Awbrey is a Consultant for Interbrand Sampson De Villiers.