THE Carling Black Label Cup returns for its third year in 2013, giving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fans yet another opportunity to showcase their coaching skills against one another in the heat of a battle.
The showpiece is scheduled for July 27 at the popular FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.
The Buccaneers have won the first two episodes of this prestigious campaign – both via gruelling penalty shoot-outs after closely-fought clashes that saw the stadium filled to capacity with last year breaking the all-time attendance record for a soccer event.
The campaign has grown tremendously since its inception in 2011 with more than 20-million votes cast last year. This is double the number from the first year, as fans selected their starting line-ups for the well-sought after Soweto Derby.
The opportunity to ‘Be the Champion Coach’ has ignited the imagination of fans from all over the country and this globally unique concept has taken its place as one of the highlights of the South African football calendar.
Kaizer Chiefs Chairman, Mr Kaizer Motaung said: “The Carling Black Label Cup has been a tremendous success not just for the two clubs involved and the fans who have taken the concept to heart, but also South Africa as a whole. It has shown us to be a country of innovation and outstanding achievement.
“The benchmark for success was set high in this campaign and required massive public involvement for it to work. I am delighted to say that we have managed to meet the technical requirements of the campaign, and that the involvement of the public has been incredible,” said Mr Motaung.
Chairman of Orlando Pirates Dr Irvin Khoza suggested that the success of the campaign is reason for football fans to celebrate. “I believe anytime Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs meet, there will be massive interest from the public. However, of greater interest is the fact that supporters have a once in a lifetime opportunity to pick the teams, which is incredible for them.
“We saw the entries rise last year from our first campaign and we expected them to rise again in 2013. In a South African football context it does not get any bigger than the Soweto Derby and we have given the supporters that and the added excitement of being able to select the team they want to see on the field,” said Dr Khoza.
This year’s format will be much the same as in the two previous meetings, except for one significant change – the substitution mechanism. During the first half of the match, fans will again be asked to vote for a substitution, with the difference this year being that fans will be asked to vote for a player they would like to bring on as substitute, rather than take-off, as has been the case in previous years.
It is a change that the fans have called for and offers them an additional opportunity to really influence the game.
“The Carling Black Label Cup concept has been hugely welcomed by the South African football fraternity as it affords consumers a unique opportunity to realise their dreams and ‘Be the Champion Coach. We did not want to tinker with the vision too much, but have changed the substitution mechanism around this year to add a new dimension based on the consumer needs,” said Vijay Govindsamy, Carling Black Label’s General Manager.
“The growth in fan participation and engagement that we saw from year one to year two has been phenomenal and we are excited to see what 2013 will bring. We are the largest beer brand in South Africa and have partnered with the two biggest brands in South African football. It is a fantastic match.” Govindsamy concluded.
In order to enter and ‘Be the Champions Coach’, fans over the age of 18 must once again purchase a specially marked bottle of Carling Black Label beer and look out for the unique code on the underside of the bottle top.
By dialing *120*764* on their cell phones and entering their unique code from the underside of the bottle top and the # sign (with no spaces in between), they can then choose the team they would like to manage, and the players they would like to see in the starting line-up. Voting is free to the consumer.
Those supporters who cast their votes can win great prizes, including a share of
R3-million worth of airtime, match tickets to the spectacle event on July 27 and, best of all, a coach’s experience with either Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs on match day.
One of the distinctive features of the Carling Black Label Cup is the exclusive prize that will allow one lucky fan from each side,to experience their team in training, sit in the pre-match briefing and be part of the dug-out with their favourite team. This is a once in a life-time experience for consumers. Fans can log onto Carling Black Label Champion Coach forum (http://www.carlingblacklabel.co.za/bethecoach/forum) on a Monday & Wednesday through Soccerzone & Sports Talk on SABC where they will answer a specific coaching demand from their respective captains
In addition, there will be a Carling Black Label Cup roadshow that will travel extensively across the country with celebrated SABC 1’s Zone 14 duo, Popeye and Spinach. These Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs self-proclaimed supporters will educate fans on voting procedures, the two Soweto giants history and give away fabulous prizes.
The Coach the Coaches programme will return for its third year, though with a slightly changed format. In previous years, former Bafana Bafana tactician Pitso Mosimane has led 72 coaches (36 coaches a year) in a week-long, high-level intensive training course. The knowledge gained was shared with their communities, benefiting not just the coaches that undertook the course but also those in their surrounding communities.
Details of the revised programme, which will target 360 coaches alone this year, will be announced in due course. Carling Black Label is committed to playing a significant role in the up-skilling of coaches in the SAB League, the country’s largest SAFA football development league.
Orlando Pirates will be on a quest to clinch the title for the third consecutive time whilst Kaizer Chiefs are looking forward to breaking the spell by winning this coveted title for the first time. The excitement of this year’s campaign starts now!
The Carling Black Label Cup will be keeping fans up-to-date with voting throughout the campaign, but supporters can also view their team’s update and have their say by visiting www.carlingblacklabel.co.za