Friday, September 25, 2015

Industry rallies to support Masi

Published by

Many companies in the sport and outdoor retail industry already invest substantially in CSI projects, but when we heard the inspiring story of the work being done by coach Nceba Jonas and the Masicorp Trust in the impoverished Masiphumelele community (a township between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek near Cape Town) we took the liberty of asking retailers and suppliers to help assist them with much-needed tracksuits.
Coach Nceba Jonas flanked by Carol Hanks and Fran Loudon of the Masicorp Trust.
We were very grateful and impressed by the many, many offers of assistance we received – especially from Kappa SA, Asics SA and retailer American Clothing, who were first off the mark to generously offer free donations of tracksuits for two community netball teams and their coaches.

These will be worn this weekend during the major community sports tournament coach Nceba and his committee organised in Masiphumelele, where four Orlando Pirates players will inspire the township’s youths to dream about a sporting life that will take them far beyond the poverty they grew up in.
Carol Hanks from the Masicorp Trust receives the coaches’ hoodies and pants from Wesley Tam of Asics SA.
Springbok suppliers Asics SA did not hesitate to respond to our request: “We will certainly see how we can assist and support,” said marketing manager Sarah Mundy. “We do already support other causes, however, given the nature of your request, we will see how we can assist.”  While they did not have complete tracksuits available, Wesley Tam, Core Performance Sports Marketing Executive, supplied hooded tops and tracksuit pants for the coaches.
Ricky Joseph and David Abramsohn of Kappa SA with one of the tracksuits they donated.
“As a brand, Kappa SA believes in helping to grow the community of South Africa,” says Ricky Joseph, who donated 14 tracksuits for the netball team. “A project such as this is something that we feel extremely touched by. While kids may have the most amazing skills and attributes, sometimes to look and feel good is as important. We believe that by donating these tracksuits to these athletes we will give them an added ability on and off the field. We want to uplift as many disadvantaged communities as possible and enable even those unfortunate in our country to be able to look and feel the best while competing.”
Retailer Kamlesh Chagan of American Clothing hands over the Kappa tracksuits he donated to coach Nceba Jonas.
Kamlesh Chagan, owner of the American Clothing stores in Cape Town, believes in supporting the Southern Peninsula communities that have been supporting his family’s business for the past 50 years, after his father opened their first store in Retreat. “I believe in giving back to organisations that support the communities in the areas where I grew up, who provided our family with an income,” he says.

They receive requests for donations on almost a daily basis and he has become wary of everybody knocking on their doors. But, he does support organisations that are empowering young adults surrounded by influences like drugs, etc. to rather follow a path powered by sport or education, says Chagan. He therefore gladly bought matching tracksuits from Kappa at a special price to donate to another Masiphumelele netball team.
Several wall posters made by pupils, parents and teachers reflect the solid grounding the Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele offers its pupils.
After considering several initiatives, Sports Trader decided to support the Masicorp Trust, which has been providing educational and community-based support to the Masiphumelele township since 1999, where more than 38 000 people live disadvantaged and poor (see What appealed to us is the fact that the Masicorp Trust focuses on education as the way out of poverty, instead of hand-outs.

At the Ukhanyo Primary School (1 650 pupils) in Masiphumelele they help provide teacher, coach and learner training, facilities like maths, science and language labs, and equipment to promote education as a way to a better future.  This offers the young people an alternative to gangsterism and drugs.
These posters reflect the pride everybody takes in the Ukhanoyo Primary school, supported by the Masicorp Trust.
But, most of all, we were inspired by the enthusiastic sports organiser who, we believe, deserves as much support as possible – and therefore we called on members of the industry. The Masicorp Trust pays the salary of community member coach Nceba Jonas, who chairs the community sports programme and also:
  • with the help of volunteers and in partnership with the NGO Goodsport (who train sport coaches and educators), runs the Physical Education Programme at Ukhanyo Primary School, offering each child at least two periods of PE per week;
  • In the afternoons he also coaches the primary school teams in soccer, rugby, cricket and netball.  They have been doing exceptionally well and often win their matches against ‘sporting schools’ in this league and the principal’s office is filled with trophies won by the sports teams. Their netball team is the current holders of the Southern Peninsula League Championship.
  • The two primary school netball teams recently swept the board at a Muizenberg Tournament and at another netball tournament, Ukhanyo was victorious against Red Hill and Ocean View teams.
  • Late afternoons, coach Nceba coaches community netball (who require the tracksuits) and soccer teams. And if that is not enough, he also runs aerobics classes in the community hall in the evenings.

The Masiphumelele community is very poor and parents struggle to afford sports kit - the primary school teams have therefore been competing in generic white T-shirts and shorts against well-equipped opponents wearing proper kits.

Coach Nceba has a dream that all his teams will one day be able to meet their opponents kitted out in proper school team kit, which would give his young learners the confidence to meet other schools on equal footing.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CT Marathon Expo offered runners plenty

Published by

In the run-up to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, which took place this past weekend, technical sponsor ASICS SA had a large informative stand at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Expo on 18 and 19 September at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
Runners collecting their race packs at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Expo. 
The brand’s demarcated area featured a selection of shoe types from their range and a number of representatives were available on the floor to answer any questions visitors had for them.
ASICS’  Dawid Visser and their reps showing support for the’Boks in their green and gold.

In another section of the stand, there was a magnetic apparel wall that demonstrated their clothing range along with information indicating the technologies used in the manufacturing process of the particular garments.
ASICS’  magnetic wall displayed their apparel and the technologies they feature.
The ASICS Foot ID scans were available for runners to assess their foot shape, gait and running style, which helped them select the optimum shoe for them.
ASICS had a special area where visitors could use their Foot ID scan.
The Motivational Wall on ASICS’s stand provided an area for visitors to write messages of encouragement, for other runners or themselves. Visitors were also encouraged to use the #ASICSGoRunIT handle on social media and post motivational messages there.
Runners leaving messages on ASICS’ Motivational Wall.
Runners waited eagerly at Mizuno’s stand for their turn to do a 360o foot scan, which helped them gain insight into which shoes would fit their running style best.

Mizuno is locally distributed by Brand ID.
Visitors doing 360o scans at the Mizuno stand.
The Sweat Shop’s owner, Jax Snyman, was on their stand helping customers.
What’s an expo without specials? Exhibitors competed with each other for visitors’ attention (and wallets) by offering discounts.

The Sweat Shop’s promotions included a combo deal where runners could purchase the ASICS 33DFA at a discounted rate and receive a free ASICS t-shirt.

Cape Union Mart’s stand prominently displayed show special banners, advertising shoes, watches, clothing, etc. at reduced rates.
Cape Union Mart’s stand offered a number of specials.
Retailers weren’t the only ones offering specials. TomTom marked down their watches and Terra Brands got visitors interested with three-for-the-price-of-two offers.
Terra Brands offered visitors specials on equipment at their stand.
The first day of the expo fell on BokFriday and saw many of the exhibitors including ASICS SA (Springbok sponsor), The Sweat Shop and TomTom proudly sporting their green and gold.
TomTom's Dewildt Smith helping customers on their stand.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ultra excitement for Ultra-Trail Cape Town 2015

Published by

Ultra-Trail Cape Town (UTCT) 2015 was presented to the media last night at the Trail and Tar store in Tokai, Cape Town.
This year marks the second UTCT, which takes trail runners over and along Table Mountain. "What better way to see Cape Town?", asks Kim Stephens, who is involved with promoting and organising UTCT. In fact, some of the runners in last year's race said they'd never been to Cape Town before and enjoyed the magnificent views that the race offers.
Brand ID offers top products for a runner, says Paul Copson, brand manager for Mizuno and Skins.
It is important to align yourself with the right partners, said Tar and Trail’s Noel Ernstzen. And what partners have aligned themselves with the UTCT! The ultra is partnered by, among others, Columbia, Nathan, Mizuno, Skins (all distributed by Brand ID), Suunto (distributed by Ultimo), and PowerTraveller (Wintec Solution). Trail and Tar is also a partner and will have a drinks station on the route, which Ernstzen promises will be heard from afar so as to lift participants’ spirits.
Tar and Trail’s Noel Ernstzen and Kim Stephens.
Ernstzen himself is no stranger to the trail world. One of his achievements is being the first runner in the masters age group (50+) to run sub five hours in the Otter Trail Run.
Kim Stephens and race director Nic Bornman.
There will be between 530-600 participants this year from 28 nations, predicts race director Nic Bornman. More than a third of participants (35%) are from outside of the Western Cape. 

The race has already attracted the attention of top athletes such as Kerry-Ann Marshall (SA), Linda Doke (SA), Chantel Nienaber (SA), Gift Kelehe (SA) Sally McRae (US), Devon Yanko (US), Ernstzen (SA), Salameh al Aqara (Jordan), Andrew Hagan (SA), Jock Green (SA), Landie Greyling (SA) and Christiaan Greyling (SA).

UTCT takes place on 3 October and offers three races (100km, 65km and 20km), with nine aid stations no more than 15km apart. The 100km race covers the iconic landmarks of Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Hout Bay, Llandudno, the Constantia Winelands, Kirstenbosch Nature Reserve and Devils Peak. The majority of the route (90%) is on mountain trails, with runners occasionally diverted into the city to tie together Cape Town’s rich cultural, built and natural heritage.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fun activities at the TFG online store launch

Published by

TFG (The Foschini Group) Sport opened for online trading with sneaker style, shooting hoops and packed gear on July 7th. The media and sporting celebrities competed in fun-filled activities, after several speakers shared some sage advice and interesting experiences, while the group’s sport division opened for trading in cyberspace.
Robyn Cooke, head of TFG E-commerce, welcoming guests at the launch.
‘Bokke Pierre Bester and Seabelo Senatla in conversation, with runner Ryan Sandes in the background.
Blogger Leigh Harding painting sneakers.
Liesl van Schalkwyk ‘laying down the rules’.
TFG is often approached to have a retail presence when new malls are developed, said Kathryn Sakalis, TFG MD Group Marketing and E-commerce. “We are then faced with dilemma likes: of do we go in? Are our competitors going in? If we go in, which brands should we open stores for?”
Kathryn Sakalis explaining the benefits of cybertrading.
They don’t have these types of problems with their online mall, launched last year with @home and hi, which will feature all of TFG’s retail brands by 2018. The online mall at is exclusive to the group’s retail brands and they can control their own timing for opening stores and introducing products, while customers can shop across all their brands with one basket. 

Their customers can now shop whenever they want, as the mall is open all hours, and TFG can get to understand their customers’ shopping habits better as their movements are trackable on the site, said Sakalis. If there’s a problem with the product, the customer can return the online-bought product to the corresponding physical store. The online site also features a countdown timer that will alert customers when new products are available in the online store and customers can also place pre-orders.
The Next Weekend talk about their “Get Lost” trip.
Irreverent adventurers Koos Groenewald, Uno de Waal and Roy Potterill shared some of the behind-the scenes stories of their “Next weekend” motorbike trip along unmapped routes between Johannesburg to Cape Town that became the 8-part YouTube “Get Lost” series for Levi’s. The name “next weekend” comes from being told “you should be here next weekend” when something exciting is supposed to happen in the places they visited on a motorbike or cycle ... even when they did return the next weekend!
Mountainbiker Koos Groenewald of Jana&Koos Uncreative concept developers.
Levi’s ambassador and photographer Roy Potterill.
Cyclist and media man Uno de Waal.
They learnt “the adventure starts when things start to go wrong,” said the trio, who spent the previous weekend cycling up the Swartberg pass in DueSouth gear. 

They pitted their skills at packing the most gear into a Thule travel bag in just 60 seconds – with a sleeping bag, trekking pole and shoes compulsory items – against other guests at the DueSouth station.
Packing the most gear in a bag in a minute is more difficult than it looks.
The first woman to win both the Two Oceans and Comrades marathons in one year, Caroline Wostmann, told how setting new goals for herself over the past seven years, transformed her from a new mom running to lose excess weight, into a champion who’ll always be in the record books. 
Caroline Wostmann and coach Lindsey Parry share her 7-year journey to become a marathon champion.
The Two Oceans was supposed to be a training run for the Comrades, “but one can get unexpected results even with the best planning,” added her coach Lindsey Parry. And mis-communication between them about how far she was ahead of the “Russian twins”, resulted in Caroline running one of the fastest splits for the last 10km in the Comrades.
Seabelo Senatla helps Caroline Wostmann improve her hoop skills.
They joined the other fit guests, including Ryan Sandes, in trying to beat rugby players Pierre Bester and Seabelo Senatla in putting the most basketballs through the hoop at the Totalsports station.

Anthea Poulos of The Bread brand agency  and rapper Stilo Magolides (aka Choc Seruno) introduced the changed sneakerhead culture as you no longer have to spend R3 000 to import the latest “cool kicks” from overseas, but could buy them from your local Sportscene store ... at about the same time they were introduced internationally. “South Africa’s sneakerheads can now expect to have what everyone else in the world have, we now have a global mindset,” said Poulos.
Sneakerheads Anthea Poulos and Stilo Magolides.
In the past, you pulled on your “cool kicks” over the weekend to hang out, now it has become a lifestyle and a culture, added Magolides. “All kids understand what an Air Force 1 is.” In South Africa, new models are introduced in stores like Sportscene even faster than what they are advertised on the internet.
Sneakers customised by guests.
The global sneaker market is worth $55-bn, in the US alone it is worth $28-bn, Poulos explained. The average age of a sneakerhead is 21 years, and they own 34 pairs on average – paying a maximum average price of $309.

The local product availability has changed the way people shop, she continued: people arrive in a store with a screen shot of the sneaker they want to buy. “It is immediate, they want it now. Purchasing online is immediate, and that is key for reaching the sneaker lover.”
Artist Dada illustrating her skills transforming a pair of sneakers into works of art.
Several sneaker-loving guests joined artist Dada Khanyisa, trying to emulate the sneaker art she created on a pair of their own.
Sneaker art requires plenty of concentration, Sports Trader’s Carin Hardisty found.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fans went “Bok” for Springbok signing session

Published by

A huge crowd of fans and media gathered for the #BoksInASICS Springbok Signing Session that was held at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tygervalley, Cape Town, on 9 July. The event was held ahead of the Springbok match against the World XV at Newlands Stadium on 11 July.
Springbok squad members recently held a signing session at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tygervalley Cape Town.
The staff of Sportsman’s Warehouse wore their green and gold proudly.
The fans - from babies to grannies - came out in their green and gold to meet and greet Springbok squad members Faf de Klerk, Eben Etzebeth, Zane Kirchner, Frans Malherbe, Lionel Mapoe and Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira - the queue went right around the large store and was nearly out the doors.
Springbok squad members Faf de Klerk, Eben Etzebeth, Lionel Mapoe and Frans Malherbe signing eager fans’ memorabilia.
Kirchner and the Beast chatting a bit.
Even the tiny tots were out taking pictures with our country’s sporting heroes.
Malherbe and Kirchner pose with an eager fan.
De Klerk made sure a fan got the picture he wanted taken with him. 
A group of young boys made sure they got their “selfie” moment with every one of the players at the signing.
The Master of Ceremonies Jean Willers, radio presenter and MC for Varsity Sports, kept the fans entertained with jokes and by asking players one or two questions that allowed the crowd to get to know more about them and their experiences testing and helping with the development of their kit at the ASICS Sports Science Institute in Kobe, Japan.
The event MC Jean Willers kept the crowd entertained.
The experience in Japan was awesome, said Etzebeth. A Japanese restaurant he and Beast visited in their time off had to specially import a few extra cows for the two of them, he joked. 
Etzebeth recalls what he did in his spare time in Japan.
The Bokkie mascot was also a crowd favourite as he performed various rugby moves such as tackles, scrums, etc. with fans waiting to meet their sporting heroes.
The Bokkie mascot and fans competed to see whose scrum position was best.
Bokkie was all too happy to take pictures with fans waiting in the queue.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 12, 2015

Connecting Africa with the world

Published by

The Source Africa trade show, held 10-11 June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, showed off Africa capabilities as a sourcing destination.

The event featured more than 200 textile, apparel and footwear exhibitors from South Africa, Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland, etc. This year’s show attracted approximately 1 500 visitors.

Source Africa featured more than 200 exhibitors 10-11 June.
The show also featured three business seminars on topics Tools for Developing International Business, AGOA Renewal - The Next 10 Years and Regional Supply Chains. 

Jordan & Co.’s Jody Henry managed their stand on day one.
Well-known South African suppliers showed their products and services in the exhibition area.

Bolton Footwear divisions Jordan & Co., Barker and Watson Shoes showed off each brand's new range introductions and promoted brand awareness. All three divisions were located in the same area, with Jordan & Co. on their own stand for the first time this year as they needed more space for their extensive ranges, said Jody Henry of Jordan & Co., who was manning the stand.

Gary Gilder on the Barker stand, which showed off their new Crockett & Jones range.
Barker was exhibiting their new Crocket & Jones range, which is aimed at attracting the younger market. The brand, previously associated with older men, now has new styles that use fashionable lasts and more modern toe shapes. The aim for the show was create brand awareness and revitalise interest in the brand, said Gary Gilder.

The Watson Shoes stand attracted quite a bit of traffic.
The Watson Shoes stand was all about their Grasshopper brand. It showed their wide variety of styles (both old and new) and that they are about much more than just the well-known Grasshopper moccasin style.

Gelvenor Textiles’ Sefton Fripp answered any questions visitors had about the brand.
Gelvenor Textiles’ stand featured various materials they manufacture and showed off the diversity in their range. Their fabrics’ uses are endless and can be used to create clothing for use in hazardous work, outdoor, aeronautical, etc. environments.

 Louise Pelser was hard at work at the SAFLEC stand.

AMSA shared their stand with the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster.
The Apparel Manufacturers of South Africa shared a stand with the Cape Clothing & Textile Cluster to provide information on what they can do to assist local manufacturers. The Executive Director Johann Baard also featured on one of the panel discussions that took place at the business seminars, which formed part of the event.

Other local businesses such as Tradelink Textile Industries were also among the exhibitors looking to reach the wider African market. 

Tradelink Textile Industries’ cotton products are all produced in George and are assembled in Lesotho, says Veronique McClenaghan of Tradelink Industries.

 Tradelink Textile Industries had convenient seating where visitors could network with their reps.

Labels: , ,