When Steve Cummings won the Tour of Great Britain this summer as part of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, it was another payback for Nederburg Wines, following the cycling team’s phenomenal success in the 2016 Tour de France. The Buyer asked the South African wine company why it sponsored a sports team in the first place, how it works and why it picked cycling.
Dè-Mari Kellerman, General Manager of Nederburg Wines, answers The Buyer’s questions about whether pro-cycling sponsorship gives the company a good return on investment and a raised profile amongst wine buyers?
Why does Nederburg Wines sponsor a sport?
Both wine appreciation and sport, as a participant or a spectator, are leisure pursuits that can enrich everyday experiences.
Does Nederburg sponsor any other sports or teams?
So why cycling?
Although a fairly elitist sport, pro-cycling is commanding growing global support from cycling enthusiasts, as well as spectators.
In the UK alone, cycling attracts the biggest live attendance of any sport, and it is watched via multiple viewing channels across the world, particularly in markets where Nederburg is active, including South Africa, the UK, Europe and North America.
It therefore offers a great opportunity to access new wine consumers, who may not yet be engaging with the brand in an upmarket context.
There are also many similarities between pro-cyling and winemaking. Both pursuits demand high levels of talent, skill, training, discipline, resolve and staying power to achieve excellence.
Both require a close conversancy with and respect for the physical terrain being covered. Both insist on an openness, and therefore a curiosity, to new ways to authentically enhance performance.
Is wine and cycling a good match demographically?
Both Team Dimension Data and Nederburg symbolise the rising notion of African chic and sensibility.
Just as Team Dimension Data continuously shows its mettle in global cycling races, Nederburg is a South African brand that reflects the new dynamism of the country’s wine industry, currently considered the most exciting New World wine country by leading opinion formers in the UK and the US.
What is it about the wine drinker and cycling that makes them as good a match as, say, beer and rugby?
Wine drinkers tend to be inquisitive, and cycling as such offers a great platform for discovery.
Why is Nederburg ‘the perfect partner’ to the team?
The stellar global performance of the Team Dimension Data team affirms African excellence. It demonstrates a wealth of undiscovered talent, in much the same way that the South African wine industry has been doing in recent years with top-quality, original, refreshing and interesting wines that have fast been earning the favour of international tastemakers in wine in many parts of the world.
When did Nederburg first start its sponsorship of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka?
We started supporting the team via renowned South African chef David Higgs, who was brought on board to take care of the squad’s daily nutrition for the 2015 Tour de France.
Representing Africa for the first time, the pro-cycling team participated as a wild-card entry in the 2015 Tour de France.
Not only did the team exceed all expectations but it also managed to take fifth place overall in the team classification and was granted its World Tour licence for the 2016 season.
As a result of the successful collaboration in 2015, Nederburg decided to enter into a three-year professional cycling sponsorship agreement, from 2016 to 2018, to become the exclusive premium wine partner of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka for this period.
How does it work?
The sponsorship affords Nederburg the opportunity not only to have its logo prominently displayed on the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka cycling kits, but to use the platform for premium brand and team-building exercises.
For example, during the 2016 Tour de France, Nederburg hosted selected members of the off- and on-trade from key markets. They were wined and dined and had the chance to meet some of the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka team members along the way.
They were also given a tour of the state-of-the-art team bus and learned about the intricate inner workings of a pro-cycling team.
The sponsorship also enables Nederburg help Qhubeka to reach more people, and change more lives.
How much does it cost?
We may unfortunately not divulge the sponsorship cost.
Is there enough return as a secondary sponsor?
Absolutely! We are delighted with the results thus far.
Who has responsibility for it in the company?
The Nederburg global marketing team, with the support of the brand’s regional offices.
What does success look like?
Increased global awareness of the Nederburg brand, through its sponsorship of Team Dimension Data, as well as increased support for the non-profit Qhubeka, to help change more lives in Africa.
How does it benefit the company?
Pro-cycling, like wine, is acquiring new enthusiasts all over the world. The bigger the playing field, the higher the competitive stakes, and the greater the need to excel to stand out and be recognised for excellence. Nederburg, like Team Dimension Data, is investing in excellence for the long term, being keen and curious to find new ways to enhance its performance.
Team Dimension Data, like Nederburg, is a socially responsible entity, giving back to communities as an investment in the future.
The cyclists are pedalling for a cause, raising funds and awareness for the non-profit Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa, that seeks to change lives by distributing bicycles to needy South Africans in exchange for work to improve the environment, community or academic results.
At the same time, Nederburg is invested in upskilling talented South African wine-growers and winemakers. It also farms and produces wine in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.
Nederburg is accredited by the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) for its fair labour practices and subscribes to the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) system of environmental practices.
It is also part of a Distell programme to continue to curtail its consumption of water and energy, as well as its carbon emissions.