Celebrating the power of sport

Sport excites, unites and drives an immense amount of passion in us all. It brings people together and teaches valuable lessons which can be applied in all aspects of everyday work and life. Many of our work and lifestyle habits in the CN&CO team are demonstrated through sport, whether it is Carel, Rob and Blake’s passion to run marathons (for a good cause); Gianluca’s romance with football (in particular, Juventus) or Kurt’s enjoyment of golf, sport drives a common thread of attitude and application that encompasses what we believe in and are made of. 

Last night, Thursday, 18 May represented a special night for sport in South Africa when the 2017 Discovery Sports Industry Awards took place at the Sandton Convention Centre. The awards recognised the very best in the business of sports in 17 categories.

RMB’s Collaborative Thinking on-screen

Hosted annually, the Awards showcase and reward the industry’s most profound work, from a wide range of different sports, brands, agencies and rights holders. Spanning marketing, PR, sponsorship, talent management, advertising, community investment, social media and branding, all come together together to celebrate the very best of the very best in South Africa’s most prestigious awards ceremony for sport and business.

Amongst these was our client, Rand Merchant Bank who were nominated in three categories (Campaign of the year – RMB Collaborative Thinking / Commercial of the year – Thinking.Pulling.Together / Best new sponsorship: Rowing South Africa) for their partnership (and collaboration) with rowing in South Africa. 

Carel Nolte and Blake Dyason were at the Awards and joined the RMB team, South African rowers (Lawrence Brittain (who presented an award), Shaun Keeling and Kirsten McCann and Sandra Khumalo), Roger Barrow (Head Coach) and Paolo Cavalieri (Chairperson of National Squad and on the South Africa selection committee and a client of ours from ITOO Special Risks). Paolo was also nominated in the category for Leadership in sport business for rowing in South Africa.

Carel and Blake with the RMB team and Paolo Cavalieri

CN&CO’s Blake says, “The Discovery Sports Industry Awards reminded me how talented South Africans are and how much we have achieved, I was reminded about the important roll Corporate South Africa plays in sports and the incredible impact sports has on our country. It was an honor to share a room with so many inspiring people and South African heroes.”

Some of the winners from the night included…

  • Douglas Ryder for Personality of the Year for his efforts and work done for African cycling and Qhubeka (it was awesome to see Doug again having collaborated with him and the MTN Qhubeka cycling team at Etana Insurance)
  • Supersport for Digital Platform of the Year and Best use of Social Media for the Euro 2016 campaign
  • New Balance for Best New Sponsorship
  • South African golfing legend, Gary Player for Sportsperson’s Lifetime Community Award

We would like to wish all the nominees and winners our best wishes and congratulations and thank you for delivering magic into South Africans (and the worlds) minds through sport.

To emphasize the role of sport in our lives, we asked some of the CN&CO teamfor their veiws…


“Sport brings balance, drive and enjoyment to my life. Through running I am able to travel and experience unique moments with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Having completed three Comrades, sport has shown me the power of the human spirit, how we can all overcome and work together to enrich our lives and attitudes.”


“Sport is my escape and down time from a busy day. There is so much I learn and apply in my everyday when I am spinning and boxing during the week.”


“Sport is the foundation to my lifestyle. When I am not working I am either exercising (to maintain health and balance), on the golf course spending time with mates and talking about sports, or watching my soccer team, Juventus. Particularly through the support of sport through Juventus I am able to live a passion, experience a wave of emotions and understand what it takes to preserver and conquer one’s objectives.”