SA’s social media gets supportively sporty for the Blitzboks

SA’s social media gets supportively sporty for the Blitzboks

How do we show support to our local sports team when they play away? Through social media, of course. Especially if you’re a fan of the Blitzbokke…

The Blitzboks – Blitzbokke, to some – played in the Tokyo7s World Series finals this long weekend. While they didn’t come away with the title, they did extend their lead in the HSBC World Series and took a step closer to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

For that, we’re immensely proud of the boys. So much so that a #GotYourBack video campaign created by HoneyKome started doing the rounds just before the big day and the resulting hashtag is set to keep snowballing, to show everyone’s support of the Blitzbokke. And support they did, with ‘#Blitzbokke’ trending on Twitter on 5 April, while they were playing against Fiji, and later England, who went on to take the ultimate victory.

The boys are now back on home ground, but we’re more interested in more than their final scores. For example, take the video that let the team know their country was right behind them.

If you missed the #GotYourBack campaign, quickly watch the video embedded below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgmf2VOyvV4

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s see what Gordon Laws, Creative Director at HoneyKome, had to say about the #GotYourBack video…

1. Firstly, how did the idea come about, what was the actual brief?

Laws: It was the brainchild of Marlon Kruger from SARU. He’d realised that awareness of the Blitzboks’ form and position on the WSS table was low due to so many other high-profile sports lately. We’ve done video productions for Kruger and SARU before, so he called us up and told us his idea… and that we had less than two weeks to make it happen! We have a great working relationship and we loved the idea here at HoneyKome. So we put our heads down and flew out of the gates!

2. That you did. How did you get the local celebs to take part in the video?

Laws: Friendship, favours and stealth! I’m lucky to have made a few well-known friends throughout my career in media. I got on the line to as many as I could and ran the idea by them. Thankfully, most of them already love the Blitzboks, so it was an easy sell. Kruger has a great deal of sporting connections and knows a lot of celebs too. He even managed to arrange messages from Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel while they were at the ICC World Cup. It wasn’t easy, but he did it. Our colleagues at Ole! Media Group deal with media of all kinds too, so it was just a matter of casting the net far, wide and early. Then we dispatched our videographers across the country. Most importantly, though, South Africans (celebs included) just really love the Blitzboks.

3. That’s clear from the video. I loved the Blitzboks’ reactions in the split-screen section – what’s the official response from their side?

Laws: They were thrilled! They laughed, they cheered and they even got a little emotional. We interviewed several players afterwards, including Blitzboks Captain Kyle Brown. He expressed that they were a little overwhelmed that so many South Africans – especially ones they look up to and admire – had taken the time to participate and that it really made a big difference for them. There was a genuine electricity among the whole team after seeing the video. They were beaming and highly energised. Radioraps is a huge favourite of theirs. The sports heroes and the musicians they really follow, really struck a chord… Forgive the pun.

4. On that punny note, were there any bloopers/surprises along the filming process that had to be cut out?

Laws: Most of the celebs managed to get their messages across in a take or two. Although some became extremely enthused, requiring a bit of beeping at the end! There weren’t any major difficulties, message-wise. We did need to cut the final web video down from what we showed the team as it was very long, and some of the celebrities – Ben Karpinski and Maps Maponyane in particular – had detailed advice for the players. We also showed it together with a special, two-minute or so message from Springbok Captain Jean de Villiers, which SARU have released separately via their YouTube channel, as part of the same campaign.

5. I see the vid was only loaded on YouTube at the end of March – what’s response been like?

Laws: Great, so far! We’ve begun letting all the celebrities in the video know that it’s out and they have begun retweeting it to their followers. We’re hoping for that to increase over the course of the week, as more of them see that it’s gone live. Websites like yours and sports blogs have begun picking it up, which is awesome. It’s early days, but people seem to be loving the message so far.

6. Lastly, how can viewers get involved with the #GotYourBack hashtag?

Laws: We’d love for people to show their solidarity with this message by sharing the video, and tagging the @Blitzboks, as well as using the hashtag/phrase “South Africa’s #GOTYOURBACK”. Plus, of course, sharing their own personal message to let the team know that they have not been forgotten. They really do see the messages, and it really does mean the world. Imagine if your message means an extra try or an extra point… that’s what we’re hoping; for all the love to drive the boys over the line when then tournaments happen.

Easy as that. Keep the ball of support rolling by showing your support with the #GotYourBack hashtag.