SA rugby franchises cannot be treated as a “stepson”!


Yormark was in conversation with event MC and sports broadcaster Motshidisi Mohono, alongside Roc Nation Africa Director of Operations Isaac Lugudde-Katwe at the 2021 Hollard Sport Industry Awards on November 25.


The boss of Roc Nation did not hesitate to assess the dynamic that exists between South African rugby franchises and the national body SA Rugby.

“Rugby clubs in South Africa are secondary to the national team, and that can’t happen,” he said. “This dynamic must change, because as a secondary priority for your national team, it will never survive. In rugby and football, it’s the clubs that pay players, enrich the local community, and consistently create jobs in each of their local markets.

“The clubs are great, super important – they can’t be treated like stepchildren, and they can’t just be a feeding system for national teams. It’s not fair, it has to change, and we will do all we can to make an impact on this change.

Strong words from Yormark, who over the past two years has obviously become familiar with the way the sport is run in South Africa, as well as the way it is sold and marketed.

It’s fair to say he’s not impressed, even though he clearly sees potential.

“It all starts with commercializing the sport in South Africa, generating income, creating increased fan engagement, filling your stadiums and making the sports industry successful, in all its aspects.” he said. “When I say ‘take it to the next level’ it means making these clubs sustainable on their own, ensuring that clubs do not play a secondary role to the governing bodies.”

He also had harsh words for companies or brands that he believes have already leveraged the influence of top South African sports stars for a fee well below market value, and he dismissed the idea that its local customers were now unaffordable for South Africans. sponsors / partners.

“Many organizations in South Africa have taken advantage of Siya Kolisis, Cheslin Kolbes, Bongis, Tendais, Lungi Ngidis, by not paying them fair market value for their services” Yormark said.

“We can no longer accept brands saying, ‘hey, this is what I’m ready to give you, you have to take it. Those days are over. We need to demand that brands see the value of these ambassadors, influencers, brand partners, and pay them fair market value, whether in rand, dollars, euros or pounds. We know South Africa-based companies can afford it, and we just need to protect and defend our athletes, and make sure they’re treated fairly.

What is clear is that Yormark believes the power dynamics in South African sport are skewed in favor of the governing bodies, and this is something he would like to see changed.

Obviously, he and Roc Nation have a vested interest, as they represent athletes in the South African market, but what is no doubt is that Yormark believes that greater power in the hands of the athletes will translate into victory for all parts of the South African sport value chain.

“When you think of the professional athletes in South Africa today and the position they don’t have, that’s a concern. ” he said.

“For the industry to continue to grow and monetize, we need to create star power, and what the industry in South Africa needs to understand, whether it’s governing bodies or clubs, is that when stars emerge as stars, as athletes build their brands and visibility, it’s great for clubs, it’s great for governing bodies, and it enlightens not only them but the entire industry Sport.

So, what is the result for the boss of Roc Nation?

Yormark believes the South African sports industry is ripe for a reshuffle, and he wants Roc Nation Sports to be at the forefront of that reshuffle.

“There has to be change, and part of the change is being disruptive and talking about things that are wrong. “



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