After an emphatic rugby scene all through the year for the season 2015/2016 we are now done and dusted with the happenings of the same. We are just days away from kicking off the Kenya Cup 2016/2017 stretch, looking at the past season- things can only get better.
But before I prod on about Kabras Sugar and their prospects or the Resolute Impala and of course the Kenya cup II, there is an elephant in the room that will not be done away with easily. The just concluded Safari Sevens, I would have added festival at the end but clearly things were more somber than what the name would suggest.
A number of things quite didn’t click as they should and tough lessons were learnt, whether or not the points got home I wouldn’t know. But as the respective persons go about collecting post-tournament sentiments on what went wrong, I retreated back to my shanty, some 200-300km away from the city of concrete and glass, bewildered, how a first live experience for me turned out to be a cold affair.
Two months of fantastic rugby action couldn’t possibly culminate to a skeleton of an event, attended by more tagged officials and vendors than there were fans. Well, quite a number of things went south prior to the event, completing a full list of issues would be tough. Conflicting interests, personalities and such are allowed for a variety, but I harnessed my points I thought were left in the gutter when all came down to preparations for the event.
Do not undermine the power of Marketing
There is a reason most banks still have stands in corporate events or in institutions albeit setting a footprint in the market. Competition is rife, and you need to be aggressive. So here is the scenario as painted by the Chair of the Kenya Rugby Union; they had Ksh. 5,000,000 for marketing and then it was a case of spending the money and not getting a return or keeping it and diverting the use.
Now that is somewhat a lukewarm reason to give, I have to say, considering you had all the money purposefully for marketing bit opted to divert all that to the bank, leaving pennies to do the job. You don’t take rugby fanatics at large for granted, that’s creating an assumption “They will come, like they always do- its Safari 7s, it always happened this time of the year, they know”
Invest in marketing; I’m no pro-marketer but it is basic that proper marketing sells a brand.
Check your schedule and invites too
The said weekend of the Safari 7s was also host to the classic cars event, Concurs de elegance (damn it, this name, lol). Being civic its common sense to know that we would have to struggle to get attendees with the latter. What to do to win, well point one was it, marketing, intense marketing!
It is quite a dilemma to choose between watching rugby and heading to the car section and mesmerize at the wonders of man, cars. They said well known staunch ones were at Concurs, right?
On matters invites, clearly what killed the weekend are the Africa cup games, half a century scores in a third of the games, plenty of one sided scenes. That’s boring. On to Safari 7s the blend wasn’t perfect either but at least there was some better display.
Look at the records and you will see that we are having a decline in the standards set, where are the regulars, Emerging boks? We had set a certain niche of teams to play and we are slowly going beneath it if we are not carefull
Play along the economy of the masses
Ticket pricing was just fine for the weekend, with a season ticket going for 800/= and advanced at 300/= that was fair pricing. Now the issue is at commodities being sold at the venue and the villages, I wouldn’t blame the vendors they are just passing on the burden to the consumers.
Where it all starts? At the tendering end, vendors pay so much a fortune and pass on exorbitant prices of snacks and drinks to the attendees. Why charge so much that you scare people away?
Moderation at making profits please, take it old school first, get the crowds have them swell and then little by little up the stakes.
It might be or not be the locality
Kasarani Stadium wasn’t a bad choice , as much as the major talk out there points at the venue, it really wasn’t the reason of the poor turnout. People were willing the see the stealth and skill of Aluda Beda, the fantastic display of Brian Tanga but they were just not convinced enough to pay.
You have to know what your 500, 300, 800 is worth, right? That’s marketing failure. Kasarani has facilities we could hardly find in other venues, it has the capacity, for a World Rugby series but not local scene- before you smirk at that, the reality is, we have failed to fill it up!
Someone should have counter checked at the previous numbers and trends before recommending Kasarani but then again, our sponsorship ties to Safaricom really had us swallow the hook, line and sinker.
Let us grow our game
I won’t lie that it has crossed my mind that having our games go live, has somehow played a bit in killing the norm. The norm being, attending the event itself, some enthusiasts have opted to rather seat at the comfort of their homes and flip the channels to watch games as opposed to tradition.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of them are part of the complaining group about the event, you didn’t attend now you are passing criticism, unless it is on the marketing and economy of tickets front, which I would understand. Let’s not kill our games and later on turn to gorge each other as we shift blame game on who did and did not do what, when and where.
In another parallel camp, the Floodies are about two days away, lets focus on that while we contemplate the Safari 7s