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Q3 2017

New Balance

Brand of the Year

New Balance SA won the South African Brand of the Year title — plus four other trophies — in the 2017 Discovery Sport Industry Awards. They have also achieved double-digit growth in a time when many companies have been contracting and their commissioned adverts won Loerie and Bookmark awards.

Their sponsorship of the Proteas national cricket team won them three trophies: for the Best New Sponsorship, Campaign of the Year (Feel the Fire) as well as Best use of PR (Feel the Fire). They won the Best Sponsorship of an Event for the Comrades.

In total, New Balance SA’s marketing and sponsorship teams won five of the seven categories they were nominated for. At the annual Discovery Sport Industry Awards the best advertising, marketing, PR and media campaigns are recognised, and sports brands, rights holders, venues etc. are rewarded for hosting, managing and promoting events and teams.

According to the judges, New Balance was voted the Brand of the Year because of their outstanding achievement across a number of categories, as well as an industry beating commercial performance.

New Balance reports that in 2015 and 2016 the brand grew net revenues 25% and 29% respectively with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the last 3 years of 27%. During 2016, the brand grew its key account business 26%, vertical retail 10% and independents sports channel 35%, “despite tightening distribution, a weak retail environment and volatile currency”.

“Our world class activation at the Comrades Marathon resulted in record royalties being paid to the Comrades Marathon Association two years in a row,” says the New Balance team. They also won a silver and two gold awards for their expo stand and accumulated sales of over 47 000 pieces of technical running apparel in total between 2014, when they became the official technical partner, and 2016.

“Our highly emotive Feel the Fire Proteas campaign was arguably the most aggressive, multifaceted national team apparel partner campaign to date in the country, resulting in us breaking cricket replica sales records (in a non-World Cup year) with over 41 000 pieces of apparel sold to date, and delivering an incredible return of 36:1 on our Proteas partnership.”

New Balance online campaigns were also rewarded in 2016: the popular Baby vs Dale Steyn online video won a silver Loerie, as well as gold and bronze at the IAB Summit Bookmarks awards for digital content; their IComrades campaign won two bronze Loeries as well as a bronze Bookmarks award.

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