South Africa’s national rugby team – the Springboks – has become one of the nation’s biggest sources of pride, unity and international recognition.
And, with the reigning World Cup champions heading to France in September to defend their title, South African Tourism is leveraging the worldwide superstardom of Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi to market the country’s exceptional tourism offerings.
Kolisi, who led South Africa to glory at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was announced as the marketing entity’s new global brand ambassador at ‘The Best of Us’ event held in Johannesburg on Thursday, July 27.
Kolisi is the first of several advocates who will form part of a new global marketing campaign from SA Tourism, that look to “celebrate the country’s excellence by profiling and partnering with South Africans who are making waves on the global stage in their various fields, including sports, arts and culture, academia etc.”, SA Tourism said in a statement.
“With the Rugby World Cup starting in September in France, and as the Springboks prepare for the upcoming tournament, Siya is the perfect person to partner with South African Tourism in our marketing and promotional efforts as we seek to attract more travellers to come to visit our country. He is an exceptional South African whose story and journey inspire people from various parts of the globe. He is a true South African icon,” said SA Tourism Acting CEO, Nomasonto Ndlovu.
The partnership between Kolisi and SA Tourism is in collaboration with Roc Nation Sports International, the world-renowned agency that represents Kolisi locally and internationally.
A global inspiration
Hailing from Zwide, a township in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape province, Kolisi has captured the hearts of South Africans and the world as Captain of the Springboks. He captained South Africa to its third World Cup win with the 32-12 victory over England, becoming the first black captain of a World Cup-winning side in the history of the sport.
“I’m super excited about this partnership because, as a proud advocate for our country, I’ve always spoken about how much I love South Africa, and what a special place it is," Kolisi said. "I see this partnership as an opportunity to promote the entire tourism sector in South Africa, and I want to be a leading voice in encouraging everyone to come and see the best of what the country, and we as South Africans, have to offer."
Ndlovu said the year-long collaboration would see Kolisi represent the country in various capacities as SA Tourism aims to re-position South Africa locally and in key international source markets.
“With the global tourism industry well on its recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, various destinations are showcasing their tourism offerings to attract travellers. For South Africa, we know where our best comes from. It comes from our unique places, our exceptional people and our authentic and rich cultures and way of life,” Ndlovu said.