gsport’s Content Lead, Celine Abrahams, successfully completed the ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course. Photo: Supplied
MSCSports Head of Client Services, Carrie Delaney, topped the South African ESA class and earned 2nd place overall in the ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course. Photo: Supplied
Cricket South Africa’s Brand Marketer, Kim Lugube, also headlined the group as she deservedly earned her ESA certificate. Photo: Supplied
Cricket South Africa’s Sponsor Services Officer, Leila Steyn-Daku, beat the odds of having a new-born to earn her ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course certificate. Photo: Supplied

SA Women in Sport Successfully Complete ESA Diploma

by | Nov 17, 2021

Over the past 10 months, I had an opportunity along with three other South African women in the sport sponsorship industry to embark on an incredible learning journey with the European Sponsorship Association as we honed our knowledge and skills within the sponsorship and marketing space.

ESA is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to inspire, unite and grow a welcoming and diverse sponsorship industry, achieving this through education, guidance, representation, the recognition of excellence and the sharing of best practice and performance.

Click here to learn more about the ESA Diploma

As a journalist engaging in campaigns and producing sponsored content for various clients, I was amped to learn more about the sponsorship and marketing industry from a global perspective as I aim to integrate my learnings with the gsport initiative. 

Although the course was challenging, it was a rewarding experience as I stepped out of my comfort zone and met inspiring women who have encouraged me to break boundaries in my personal journey. 

South Africa’s top student and second overall across 14 countries that took part in the Diploma, Carrie Delaney from Mscsports, says the course was a tall order as she had to juggle assignments and work duties.

“I am delighted to have completed the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) Diploma Class of 2021, with distinction to boot! I believe I finished 2nd overall with the highest marks ever achieved by a South African student to date. It was my aim at the start of 2021 to do well (being an all-or-nothing kinda gal), so to have achieved these results made me so proud – exceeded all expectations!

“I realised that I wanted to complete the diploma to get a better understanding of the sports and sponsorship industry.” – MSCSports Head of Client Services, Carrie Delaney

“After closing my events business due to a rapidly changing landscape after eight years, I was very excited to accept a position as an Account Director at MSCSports in 2019. Having worked at MSCSports now full-time for nearly three years and being promoted to Head of Client Services last year, I realised that I wanted to complete the diploma to get a better understanding of the sports and sponsorship industry,” she explained.

“Being in a leadership position and also playing in a space that is mostly male-dominated, I was hoping that the course would give me the tools and knowledge to lead with more authority and confidence.

“At the start of the year, I did think it was a bit of a tall order when I saw the program and all the modules, and wondered how I would juggle studying with a demanding work and home life However, once I fell into a routine and started diving into the material, ensuring to keep up with the proposed timeline, it became enjoyable and was quite manageable too! 

“I enjoyed every minute of the diploma – from the first-class speakers in the seminars, to the challenge of the assignments, to meeting interesting and diverse people from around the world. It was all such a truly memorable experience. There is also so much support and guidance every step of the way.”

“It was such an honour learning from the best in our industry and on an international level, too.” – Delaney reveals on engaging with top industry professionals.

Delaney says the practical assignments helps to prepare students for what they will face in the industry: “Completing the assignments assists you in applying the course material practically. It has taught me how to approach briefs by first understanding who the target audience and business/brand objectives are before randomly assigning activation ideas or proposing sponsorship properties. The course gives insights from an agency, brand, and rights holder perspective which is very valuable.

“I cannot recommend this course enough – it was such an honour learning from the best in our industry and on an international level, too!” 

Cricket South Africa’s Sponsor Services Officer, Leila Steyn-Daku, beat the odds of having a new-born to successfully complete the course.

“I signed up to the esteemed ESA course in December 2020, unbeknown to me that I was  a couple of weeks pregnant, and that what lay ahead was going to be many sleepless nights of reading, researching and assignments while experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, fatigue & cravings – the cravings!

“The experience was an invaluable one, my skills are further enhanced to the industry because of it.” – Cricket South Africa’s Sponsor Services Officer, Leila Steyn-Daku

“The ESA course is challenging, enriching and highly recommended. It will enhance your current knowledge, hone your skills, and give you vast experience and context into the commercial and sponsorship industry, like you have never seen before,” she added.

“The bars are set very high by ESA, as it should be! The experience was an invaluable one, my skills are further enhanced to the industry because of it. I wish that this platform was available to all in Africa, to the sound of an African Sponsorship Association, can you imagine the birth of further brilliance that would come from such an amalgamation?!”

Cricket South Africa’s Brand Marketer, Kim Lugube, says the course fulfilled her aspirations of networking with rest of the world.

“A couple of years ago, a couple of my friends from the industry embarked on the ESA course and after a bit of research, I knew I wanted to embark on it for various reasons, to network with students from abroad, exposure to best practise on real sporting properties and to acquire an internally renowned qualification.  

“I am so glad I have had the opportunity to complete the 2021 ESA Diploma! It has been a challenge having to juggle work, meet the assignment deadlines and attend briefing sessions within COVID restrictions and sometimes loadshedding. This is proof that you can work around or through challenges and turn out victorious.

“I’m fortunate in that I am a sports marketer working in a national federation, the ESA Diploma re-enforces my experience further, in that I am well versed with sponsorship management from as a rights holder, I have an understanding of acquiring partnership, working with partner agencies, managing and delivery of partner rights. I now have a well guided step by step approach! I would definitely recommend ESA to right holders, sponsor managers and agencies, it’s worth every penny!”

We would like to extend our gratitude to Course Director, Peter Raymond, for his outstanding coaching throughout the course and Ruth Luke for all her support to ensure that our learning was a smooth process. 

I would also like to thank Flash Sponsorship for providing this opportunity for me to gain valuable knowledge through ESA. 

 

Photo 1 Caption: gsport’s Content Lead, Celine Abrahams, successfully completed the ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course. Photo: Supplied

Photo 2 Caption: MSCSports Head of Client Services, Carrie Delaney, topped the South African ESA class and earned 2nd place overall in the ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course. Photo: Supplied

Photo 3 Caption: Cricket South Africa’s Sponsor Services Officer, Leila Steyn-Daku, beat the odds of having a new-born to earn her ESA Sponsorship and Marketing Diploma 2021 course certificate. Photo: Supplied 

Photo 4 Caption: Cricket South Africa’s Brand Marketer, Kim Lugube, also headlined the group as she deservedly earned her ESA certificate. Photo: Supplied

 

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