If there was ever any doubt in his greatness, last night was a reaffirmation of his excellence! Kagiso Rabada has made history by becoming the first player to scoop Six awards at the Annual Cricket South Africa Awards, surpassing his predecessors, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla who had previously won a total Five each. At age 21, this makes him the youngest player to win the highly coveted CSA Player Of The Year award, in addition to his other wins for Test Cricketer of the year, ODI Cricketer of the year, T20 Player of the year, Player’s Player Of The Year and Fan’s Player of the year.
KG’s stupendous role in SA sports and not just Cricket, is encouraging and his overall influence on young hopefuls should not be ignored. Sadly, SA mainstream media does not hold excellent and efficient sports personalities in high regard. We don’t see enough profiles on great men such as KG in our usual media spaces, which should help connect the sports star to regular audiences (outside of sports fanatics), resulting in a wider fan base.
For someone like myself who an advocate for diversified celebrity revenue through endorsements, it pains me to see how little brands contribute to our sports stars’ revenue. In reality, the the most lucrative endorsement deals in the world are attributed to athletes. Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Usain Bolt, Christiano Ronaldo, David Beckham to name a few all dominate this space and are well compensated for their talent and skills. Below are a few highlights of the biggest Athlete Endorsements in the world:
Michael Jordan – Nike (estimated at $60 million pa)
Lebron James – Nike (rumoured to be $30 million pa)
Usain Bolt – Puma ($20 million pa according to Forbes)
David Beckham – (averages $75 million pa from various brands such as Breitling, adidas etc)
My appeal to our media is to start giving the same platform we give to TV Presenters, Actors, Singers and Socialites to the various sports men and women who do their best to put our country on the map. The same goes to brands who are only after social media numbers and popularity, let’s start throwing Kagiso Rabada’s name around in those boardrooms. He may not be the biggest social media star, but surely the fact that millions of people tune in to watch him conquer the field should count for something? I want to see KG in Billboards all over the city *side eyes adidas*. I want to see him driving the fastest MINI cars fit for a 21 year old super star! I want to see him in those Nivea Men TVCs! #RiseKGRise