Karabo Marole Aspires to Win on the Momentum gsport Awards Stage One Day

by | Aug 3, 2022

Over the years Public Relations in sport has played a pivotal role in the careers of athletes and how their image is cultivated in the public eye. With the advent of Social Media, the pressure and scrutiny has taken the role of a Public Relations specialist all the more vital.

Another arm that has come into play is this extremely complicated but crucial world of sponsorships. For women in sport that element of their career is certainly a massive achilleas heel.

That’s why we need young, progressive women like Karabo Marole who dreams to one day run her own PR and Advertising agency, to continue to transform this industry that heavily tilts towards men. This in the eternal hopes of opening the eyes of corporate to invest in female athletes and administrators so that they take part in the growth these individuals and teams that put in the work yet struggle to break the doors to more sponsorship opportunities.

She’s worked with big name companies like McDonald’s and currently Red Bull, as well as big names like Babalwa Latsha.

Lonwabo Nkohla sat down with Karabo, who’s new to sport PR, to unpack the role of PR and Sponsorship but also to get to know this determined and passionate young lady.


Karabo thank you for chatting to us here at gsport. Tell us more about yourself and what you do within the sporting space.

I am Karabo Marole, a mother of a beautiful seven year old. Born in Vereeniging and bred in the West Rand. I went to Krugersdorp High and furthered my studies in Braamfontein at IIE Rosebank College. I am currently competing my research project at the Vaal University Of Technology.


Growing up, were you exposed to any sports at home, school or neighbourhood?

My parents were never really into sport, but yes, I played hockey in high school and held the position of a centre back.


PR feels like the cryptocurrency of yesteryear: everybody knows of it, it comes out of most of our mouths, but some of us may not even be able to clearly define what a Public Relations Officer is and does. Can you break it down for us.
A public relations officer plans communication campaigns, creates publicity strategies and most importantly builds and maintains relationships with the public and the media. A PR officer also organises press conferences and any sponsored events.


What’s the difference between a PR Officer and a Publicist?
Well in my opinion a PR officer plans for long term and creates a concise strategy for media relations and or which audiences should receive a particular message or story, whereas a publicist primarily depends on the relationships that they have with the media to get exposure for a particular brand or business.


You’ve worked with giants like McDonald’s SA, Discovery Bank, now Red Bull. Your path is definitely one to be emulated, how did you get into the PR space?
– I actually studied PR at the IIE Rosebank College and went to further my studies at Vaal University Of Technology to obtain a BTECH in Public Relations Management. I had my first formal internship as a PR Intern at Pacinamix. That is where I gained most of my experience with a couple of brands.


What does your day to day look like in your position?
I wake up at 05:00 and get my daughter ready for school. Thereafter I get ready for work and start my day, by constantly disseminating press releases, thought leadership pieces and opinion pieces with the aim of receiving earned coverage for our clients. This also includes reaching out to content producers on radio to pitch for client interviews.


You mentioned that this is the first time you work in sport, would you say there’s a difference between working with say a Red Bull on a sport campaign vs a corporate one?
Absolutely. A sports campaign would ideally speak to your sports journalists and athletes. Whereas a corporate campaign would strategically speak to a specific LSM and a targeted audience of a particular corporate brand.


From your media stand point, why would you say the inclusion of women is so slow?
The isn’t enough investment in the inclusion of women in sport. Our schools need to encourage and empower more young girls to participate in sports.


To this day, even after doing well in high profile competitions, women still struggle to get sponsors. What advice would you give a women in sport looking to get the attention of some high profile sponsors and donors like the ones you’ve worked with?
I would say remember to always stay true to your craft and passion. Be intentional and strategic in your involvement within the sports industry. Thus establish essential relationships that can get you the kind of exposure that you need.


Social Media has changed the game immensely – are there ways one can use social media to grow their name, thus attract more sponsors?
Oh yes definitely. Be clear about the content that you would like to share. Choose the right platform to grow your name and most importantly do as much research as you can.


In the next couple of years – where would you like to see yourself in the PR and Sponsorship space?
To be honest with you, I potentially see myself owning and running a PR & Advertising Agency. I believe that my passion will certainly drive me to becoming my own boss.


Nominations for the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards are currently underway. What are your views on the platform and how it impacts women in sport?

Women have been marginalised for the longest time which didn’t encourage them to do or be much, their role was to bow down and be wherever or whatever they needed to be. Creating a platform like this for women plays an intrinasic role in creating a better and brighter future for themselves. The empowering of a woman lifts up the economy – and creates more opportunities for even more women, be it in South Africa or globally.


What would it mean for you to one day win the PR and Sponsorship category award?

Winning an award in the PR and Sponsorship category would mean that I am also another young female PR professional who has been acknowledged and empowered. This award would mean that I am able to  penetrate myself in fields that are dominated by my counterparts. Receiving this award would not only recognise all the hard work and achievements that I may have acquired since the inception of my career,  however it would translate to the youth of South Africa that; your dreams are valid and if you let your passion and craft speak for you, you can change and influence the next person.



Photo 1 Caption: As nominations continue for the 2022 Momentum gsport Awards, rising PR and Sponsorship specialist Karabo Marole hopes to win on the awards stage one day. Photo: Supplied

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