Springbok legend Bryan Habana has launched a campaign to help cash-strapped Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls compete at the perennial global competitions.
Habana is using MatchKit to get behind some of the most physically fittest South Africans striving to make a name for themselves on the world’s biggest stage.
“The unfortunate reality is that the bodies tasked with investing in our individual and Cinderella sports are ill-equipped to unlock commercial opportunities for the athletes representing South Africa on the global stage,” said Habana, who is also MatchKit’s co-founder.
Fellow co-founder Mike Sharman added: “Choose an athlete you would like to ‘adopt’ for Paris – from crowdfunding to bespoke sponsorship packages – MatchKit can facilitate an auditable, transparent solution and issue you a section 18A certificate, for a possible tax deduction.”
In March 2021, MatchKit stepped in and assisted the SA men’s hockey team to raise both awareness and over R300,000 to ensure the national team could compete at Tokyo, and a few months later, used its technology and social media platforms to raise close to R500,000 in medal bonuses for Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag.
Off the back of these successful platform campaigns, MatchKit is looking to take things a step further and provide more bang for the sponsorship buck.
Sharman said: “Sponsorship and marketing budgets continue to be stretched, and we aren’t naive to this. We believe athletes are the quintessential influencers as they provide fresh audiences for brand engagement, and of course positive synergies for brands to align with.”
“It is not enough to simply pay for an athlete’s plane ticket to an Olympic Games and expect a world class performance,” Habana concluded.
“There needs to be a sustainable solution and ongoing support to ensure our athletes are financially equipped to compete with their contemporaries. MatchKit strives to make athletes financially fit, to ensure they are not reliant on antiquated institutions, unable to deliver on their basic mandates.”
Launched in 2020, MatchKit.co has been used as a vehicle for crowdfunding more than R3.4m for athletes in need. MatchKit has signed up more than 2,200 athletes, who have a reach of more than 9m fans globally linked to these athletes.
Heavy Chef named MatchKit a top 5 startup at the end of 2020 and the platform powered the SA field hockey team to the Olympics.