He’s a former rugby player and now SuperSport’s relatively-new Senior Commercial Manager finds himself heading up some of the pay-TV broadcaster’s more interesting projects, including the SuperSport Schools initiative and the stake in betting platform BetKing.
Q: Prior to joining MultiChoice in 2019, what were you doing, and how did that prepare you for your current role?
A: Post obtaining my Masters in Marketing, I worked for Diageo and was responsible for the distribution of Diageo brands into Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, where I managed the P&L by market. This prepared me for my current role by helping me establish my commercial skills. I also learned the importance of achieving success through working with people.
Q: As Senior Commercial Manager at SuperSport, what do you regard as your primary focus and areas of responsibility?
A: I joined MultiChoice in 2019 as a Sports Marketing Manager. Nine months later I was sent on secondment to Kenya as the ‘Acting Head of Marketing’. Five months later I was promoted to my current role as Senior Commercial Manager. My primary role entails leading two key initiatives which are at the forefront of shaping the future of SuperSport, namely SuperSport Schools and BetKing. Secondly, I work on the acquisition of specific content.
Q: Do you have a sporting background and what sports did you play growing up?
A: I am a massive rugby fan and I love the game. For the longest time everything in my life revolved around pursuing a professional rugby career. I played Grant Khomo and Craven Week for the Limpopo Blue Bulls. In my matric year I was contracted to the under-19 Blue Bulls and while trying to strike a balance between getting a degree and pursuing my love for rugby, I played Varsity Cup for Wits University. As soon as I got my degree I played some club rugby in Cape Town for a club called Masipumelela. Towards the end of my playing career I played for a club called RGBC in Wales.
Q: What’s your all-time favourite sporting moment?
A: The 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph. This was special because it was at this moment that I decided I wanted to work in the sports industry and more importantly to work at SuperSport. This moment sparked my desire to combine my work and my love for rugby. I am fortunate that my work is linked to my passion for sport. I love what I do!
Q: What do you view as the biggest impact of Covid-19 on the way sport is run, consumed, commercialised etc?
A: The biggest impact has been not having fans in stadiums. There has been a change in the way viewers consume sports content and the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the changes in trends and consumption behaviour. This has in turn impacted the way sport is run and commercialised.
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Q: How has the broadcasting landscape changed, as a result of Covid-19?
A: The Covid pandemic has forced broadcasters to re-define how to best offer value for their viewers. This has forced broadcasters to be agile and flexible. With stadiums being empty, the viewing experience has been different, but innovative ideas like the integration of ‘fan audio’ and ‘augmented reality branding graphics on the stands’ are just a few of the innovative ideas broadcasters have had to come up with. For SuperSport specifically, in the absence of live sport, we have led the charge to ‘re-live’ the best sporting moments, and the sentiment from viewers has been very positive.
Q: What’s your view on the emergence of OTT streaming players and their entrance into the sports rights market?
A: The emergence of OTT streaming players has been an interesting development. For SuperSport specifically, we have been spending a lot of time mapping out how best to maximise this opportunity with the launch of our SuperSport Schools OTT platforms and this in itself is very exciting. With SuperSport Schools, we are striving to build the best schools sport platform available.
Q: What does SuperSport need to do to remain relevant in this changing landscape?
A: Remaining relevant requires us to have a clear picture of who we are serving and this all starts with understanding our consumer/viewer’s needs. The key to relevance is all about understanding who we serve and how to best create solutions for them. ‘Relevance’ is a key component of the initiatives I am leading.
Q: Are you currently working from home or the office, and how have you adapted to the change in work routine?
A: I enjoy the balance, as I get more work done at home. But great ideas comes from collaboration and this is why I also love going to the office, as I get to feed off the energy from my colleagues at the office.
Q: What does your daily routine look like? Early mornings or late nights?
A: A bit of both, with early mornings and late nights. I am usually up by 04h40 and in the gym by 05h10. I try and get to the office between 06h30am and 07h00. On a good day I leave the office at 18h00 and on a busy day I leave at 20h00. I try and not work when I get home.
Q: How do you cope with stress and how do you unwind?
A: My morning gym sessions help me manage stress. They help me set the tone for the day and motivate me to get stuck-in. I also have a very strong and supportive wife. She has a very demanding job and so she understands my pressure points and is very supportive. This makes the world of a difference, having a supportive partner.