MTN, a local brand, gets in the game

MTN logo

via Google Images

A recent article in the South Africa based website revealed that MTN, a local telecom brand, has joined forces with Johannesburg City Parks and Township TV.  This initiative will support TV viewership in the townships, encourage use of green spaces/parks, and increase access to live viewings of the  Confederations Cup and World Cup matches.  Organizers claim that it will turn Johannesburg’s parks into “virtual football stadium” and that this initiative will last long after the 2010 World Cup is over.

MTN’s CMO, Serame Taukobong was quoted to say (this initative) “enables us to add  dimension, integrity and very real meaning to MTN as a brand at work, making a difference in the lives of its target market.”

This is a sophisticated approach to sponsorship around the World Cup and I hope that other corporations take notice of his perspective.  MTN, while already a highly visible brand in South Africa, is seeing this sponsorship as an opportunity to engage its market and try to grab a larger pie of market share.  Why not?

I just hope they fulfill their promise and continue this initiative long after the games are over.  But I guess we’ll see over the coming months how the TV initiative is being embraced by Joburg residents.  Will it be perceived as a slick PR ploy or will be it be embraced as a legitimate public service filling a public need (access to information)?

I’ll have to leave that question to be answered by my friends in Joburg.  If you have any comments or insights on how people have reacted to this initiative, I’d love to hear it.

Full article can be found here:


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