Friday, May 31, 2024

SuperSport adds active rugby player Siya Kolisi as brand ambassador as MultiChoice and SuperSport ignore questions over conflict of interest.

by Thinus Ferreira

In a questionable move, SuperSport has added the still active rugby player Siya Kolisi as a SuperSport brand ambassador, with MultiChoice and SuperSport ignoring questions about creating a conflict of interest with the move.

SuperSport now pays Siya Kolisi to be a SuperSport brand ambassador. How will - or will - SuperSport do credible, critical commentary and reporting about Siya Kolisi and his on-field performance?

Why did SuperSport decide that it's okay to sign an active player as a SuperSport "brand ambassador" when and while SuperSport is also in the game of commenting and talking about active rugby players?

Since Rendani Ramovha took over as new SuperSport CEO following a lot of turmoil behind-the-scenes at SuperSport, SuperSport no longer seems inclined to respond to media queries. SuperSport was asked about the apparent conflict of interest in a media query and decided to ignore it.

A week ago SuperSport in a press release announced that the former Springbok rugby captain who is currently playing for French club Racing 92 is now getting paid to be an official SuperSport brand ambassador.

This move makes it unlikely that SuperSport will ever say anything critical of Siya Kolisi as their official brand ambassador or will tone down anything "negative" about his gameplay, decisions, on-field mistakes or anything else that might be true or fair, but not deemed "positive".

"It is such an honour for me to be a brand ambassador for SuperSport, to join such an incredible team of people who are responsible to bring the world's best sport to the continent," Siya Kolisi said in a prepared quote in the press release. 

"I've always said I want to impact as many people as possible, whether on or off the rugby field, and this is another way to reach people across the continent and hopefully make a mark and inspire people."

Siya Kolisi is represented by Roc Nation Sports International.

Rendani Ramovha, SuperSport CEO, is also quoted in the press release saying "Siya Kolisi is someone who truly embodies the meaning of being a champion and we are extremely proud to welcome him to the World of Champions".

Sibusiso Mjikeliso, SuperSport spokesperson, was asked twice in a media query about the perception of a conflict of interest and how SuperSport will do independent and credible coverage, commentary and reporting on the gameplay of someone who is also a brand ambassador of SuperSport.

Sibusiso Mjikeliso didn't respond.

On Tuesday this week, MultiChoice was asked why SuperSport doesn't respond to media queries. 

Keabetswe Modimoeg, MultiChoice corporate affairs and stakeholder relations group executive, didn't respond to the media query.