Loftus Versfeld – The Open Field

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Saturday saw the Vodacom Bulls play their first home game of the Vodacom Super Rugby 2016 season. Their unlucky opponents were the Melbourne Rebels from Australia who probably wish they never came over to SA after getting thumped 45 points to 25.

Our biggest client Vodacom has been the title sponsor of the Bulls since 2004 and Super Rugby since 1996, and two other Openfield clients namely AFGRI and Isuzu are also associate sponsors of the Bulls rugby team. For this reason Loftus Versfeld has become the second home to a number of Openfield staff. Each weekend sees them spending more time at the hallowed stadium than with their spouses and friends. And guess what…. They love to do it! Their passion plays a major role in delivering truly awesome work for our clients.[/fusion_text][/one_half][fusion_text]After 2 hours of massive hits and electrifying runs, and once the victors have been crowned and the vanquished are licking their wounds (sometimes literally), not many people give any thought as to what has to happen behind the scenes in order for a Super Rugby game to assault the senses of every rugby fan.

There are a number of factors that contribute to delivering excellent work for our clients and each of these factors is built on the solid foundation of Openfield’s relationship with our clients and the different rugby unions in South Africa. We have had 16 years to build these relationships and as a result we have an in depth insight into what the needs and expectations of our rights holders and clients are.

Each of Vodacom, Isuzu and AFGRI are on different sponsorship tiers and therefore purchased unique rights packages that need to be leveraged in different ways. By understanding the client and union needs, we not only get the job done, we exceed all expectations.

The actual nuts and bolts of what we do for our clients come game day can be split into three main phases:

  1. Pre-game Preparation

 Planning for game day spans all the way from pre-season until a few minutes before the game. Before one even starts to think about what needs to be done at the stadium on the day of the game, targets and objectives need to be put in place after considering our clients’ goals. Only then can we start strategizing regarding the planning of digital media needs, stadium activations and branding requirements.

Our aim is to ensure that by planning everything down to the last detail game day almost becomes a ‘copy and paste’ job each time a home fixture takes place.

  1. Game Day

Once all the pre-game prep has been done, our staff take on a role where they ensure that all the elements come together seamlessly and a product of excellence is delivered to our clients. There will always be the need to get your hands dirty in some way or another but due to the prep work already done, the smooth running of game day is almost a given. This allows Openfielders to spend more time with the client themselves and in so doing strengthen already strong relationships.

  1. Post Game

Besides the customary beer or two and hearty slaps on the back after a successful game, we always try to learn from what we do.

Every Monday morning the routine is the same… Analyse the weekend and ascertain whether we met the targets and objectives that were decided on pre-season. Any challenges that we faced will be noted and suggestions will be made to client on how best to overcome these challenges and make the next game day even better.

What makes Openfield the best at what we do? Years of experience have taught us to expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. This, together with our staff having the ability to stay professional while still having fun, contributes to making the Vodacom Bulls the most successful rugby union in South Africa and Vodacom Super Rugby the world’s best rugby tournament.