KFC’s involvement with Cricket South Africa has been reaching new heights with new spectator involvement initiatives in the recent T20 series’ against England and Australia, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The gigantic KFC Big Buckets, which were set up all around the country during matches, as well as the hilariously dressed Colonel Sanders mascots at each toss, caught the eye of cricket fans even in overseas countries.
It is fair to say KFC and CSA went all out on a marketing front to buy into the excitement of T20 cricket, much to the delight to the spectators, who had the opportunity to meet some of their cricketing heroes and watch the games from the Big Bucket while feasting on some of the franchise’s famous foods.
It is something that overwhelmed KFC South Africa’s Marketing Director Suhayl Limbada with the positive reactions they’ve received over the six T20 matches this summer.
From Buffalo Park in East London to the Wanderers in Johannesburg, fans at the six stadiums experienced something completely different this year, which saw capacity crowds at almost every venue.
Speaking to SA Cricket Mag on Wednesday evening during the final T20 between the Proteas and Australia, Limbada hopes the partnership between the two parties can just go from strength to strength in the future.
‘KFC stands for generosity and sharing and for us this an iconic representation of that. We want to share in the experience of T20 cricket. We’ve got a deep rooted interest in cricket; we’ve been associated with South African cricket for a long time, our history with mini cricket goes back a long way and T20 is another extension of our agreement with Cricket South Africa. We are a looking at some exciting things for the future.’
In Australia, KFC has played a vital role in promoting T20 cricket since its early years, which brought about the inception of the KFC Big Bash League, which has grown into one of the premier T20 leagues in the world.
Limbada, though, says their local involvement and partnership with CSA is setting up for even bigger things in the future.
‘I think the response from the fans has been fantastic. The highlight isn’t actually getting in the ‘Bucket’ but rather engaging with the Proteas. That’s a big deal and I must call out the Proteas themselves, they are very humbled guys and fantastic. They really engage with the fans and that is so memorable.’