Winning Sponsors?

Kimberley 29 August

Cliffhanger! Cliffie Miller trained three festival winners.

Day one of the Flamingo Park Festival got under way on 29 August. That said, one wouldn’t need to live on the moon to wonder that it was just an ordinary day down Kimberley way for Mr Average Punter.

On a day of very competitive racing with some extraordinary form reversals, trainer Cliffie Miller bounced back to form with three great winners. The better quality racing happens on Wednesday though with all of Joey Ramsden, Clinton Binda, Sean Tarry and Charles Laird hitting town.

The  hype and build-up for the Northern Cape’s biggest day of the year has been conspicuous by its absence. When compared to the commendable endless televised brain bashing for races like the Summer Cup, one can only wonder what motivates a sponsor to actually get involved in a festival like this.

It goes without saying that we live in tough times and this sport and industry, like many others, needs to goon its knees with cap in hand and should be wining and dining, but most importantly providing some tangible value for  any prospective sponsor. But frankly, we found  Recall Security’s logo and link on the TAB website news. An outdated article went with it and a short Phumelela Press Release last week sometime. That can hardly be serious motivation or value for their rand .

Sponsor. Albert Boshoff putting his weight behind it.

Let’s be straight. What other exposure have Recall been given in the national public domain? And we are not referring here to the mostly closed parties and functions  that will be held for certain industry players and insiders over the next forty-eight hours.

Breeder , owner and general racing fanatic, Mr Albert Boshoff of Recall Security, has put his weight and corporate financial muscle behind this and if we just had another ten guys like him, racing would be infinitely better off. But they come and go. We all ove our racing. But is that enough? If we had canvassed just ten ordinary people in the totes after today’s meeting, would they have even have heard of Recall or a festival?

As we understand it, sponsorship has a two –tiered function. It reduces the financial burden on the operator and it also raises the profile of the sport. It should ideally get existing players excited and prospective new players introduced to a new sporting lifestyle. The latter will never be achieved if the occasion is used as an old boys’club reunion and general ‘p up’ at the operator’s and sponsor’s expense.

The horseracing and mainstream media have also not been involved in the build-up at all. Were they invited to come along and spend the three days down in Kimberley absorbing the exciting sand racing and intoxicating atmosphere that can only be provided by these down-to-earth folk of the Diamond City? Will we be hearing about this ‘festival’ in the main pages of the newspapers, the  You magazine, the Pasella television magazine show or on Supersport, as a few potential examples?

Recall? You may not have seen this before.

We all know the answers to these questions. There was no branding in the interview area, there was no logo on the television picture. There was really very little to say that this was a festival or even a sponsored one at that. We’d like to be proven wrong on this assessment.

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