Tercia Brandreth-Mampane: ‘’My Ambition is to Leave a Lasting Mark on the World’’

Sports4U Chief Operating Officer, Tercia Brandreth-Mampane plays a pivotal role in driving the growth and success of Sports4U in the competitive landscape of sports branding and management. All Photos: Supplied

Tercia Brandreth-Mampane is the Chief Operating Officer at Sports4U where they specialise in branding logistics and activations across various sporting codes, leveraging expertise to maximise their clients’ sponsorship rights both on and off the field.

Having played different sports from the age of nine to fourteen, Brandreth-Mampane had her love for sports ignited by the age of 30 where she initially joined Sports4U as the Project Manager for Varsity Sports.

She is the trusted go-to person when it comes to client expectations and ensuring their satisfaction and that reaffirmed her confidence in her branding abilities and motivated her to continually strive for excellence in this competitive industry.

Some of Brandreth-Mampane’s career highlights include work done for the Spur Masidlale, the Lovelife NGO, and FNB Football First and FNB Classic Clashes.

In this exclusive interview, Brandreth-Mampane chats to Tlamelo Kganakga about her journey and her ambitions

Tercia, thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself and where you are from? 

Originally from Cape Town, I moved to Johannesburg with my family at the age of two. As the eldest of three daughters and the oldest grandchild, I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility. Looking back, I confess to being a bit of a troublemaker during my teenage years, much to my family’s amusement, I’m sure.

I’m naturally outgoing and love striking up conversations with people from all walks of life. However, like the sun, I have my moments of intensity followed by a need for solitude and comfort. When my “social battery” runs low, nothing beats the familiarity of home, my family, a cozy couch, and pyjamas.

Despite my lively demeanour, I have a tendency to be outspoken and occasionally loud, earning me a few playful admonishments. I believe in seeing things through to the end and have a penchant for managing projects from start to finish. Some may call me a control freak, but I prefer the term “Executor,” inspired by Francois Pienaar’s description of me as a fixer. I’m driven by a desire to make a meaningful difference wherever I go.

When and where did your love for sports begin?

My passion for sports traces back to my family’s inherent athleticism. I delved into swimming at the age of 9, earning provincial recognition until I was 13. During my teenage years, I juggled hockey and netball between the ages of 14 and 16. However, as life’s complexities unfolded during my adolescence, my active sporting pursuits took a back seat.

Yet, my affinity for the sporting world persisted. By the time I reached 30, a fervent desire to immerse myself in a career within the realm of sports had taken hold. In 2013, the pivotal moment arrived when I was introduced to the dynamic world of sports by my mentor, Dr. Gary Vorster, CEO of Sports4U. It was during this time that I was interviewed for a role as a Project Manager for Varsity Sports—an opportunity that ignited a dream within me. 

Initially captivated by Varsity Football and Netball, my affection for rugby burgeoned when I was introduced to the electrifying atmosphere of FNB Varsity Cup and Shield matches. This newfound passion seamlessly transitioned to supporting our national team, the Springboks.

You are the COO of Sports4U. Please tell us more about it and about your role.

As the COO of Sports4U, I oversee the operations of our sports branding management agency. At Sports4U, our primary focus is on ensuring that our clients’ branding is strategically positioned and activated at the right times and in the right places. We specialise in branding logistics and activations across various sporting codes, leveraging our expertise to maximise our clients’ sponsorship rights both on and off the field.

In my role, I wear multiple hats, continuing to serve as a project manager while also overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business. Despite being a relatively small team, we boast an extensive network of activators who help us execute our clients’ activations seamlessly. With a demanding schedule that typically sees us managing between 40 to 60 activations per week, it’s crucial that we maintain a tight grip on our logistical planning and execution.

Over the past year, we’ve experienced a significant surge in activity, and my role has allowed me to not only ensure the smooth delivery of our existing services but also to explore opportunities for expanding our offerings to both current and prospective clients. As COO, I play a pivotal role in driving the growth and success of Sports4U in the competitive landscape of sports branding and management.

When did you realise that you are good at branding especially in sports?

I first realised my knack for branding, particularly in the realm of sports, when I consistently found myself exceeding client expectations and ensuring their satisfaction. 

Being the trusted go-to person in times of urgency, receiving late-night SOS messages from clients who needed assistance, affirmed my abilities in this field.

For me, there’s immense gratification in making people happy. I’m someone who goes above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction, sometimes even at the expense of disrupting my personal life. However, I’m fortunate to have a supportive family who understands my dedication to my work.

We have the privilege of serving some of the most esteemed clients, and our network continues to expand. This reaffirms my confidence in my branding abilities and motivates me to continually strive for excellence in this dynamic and competitive industry.

What has been some of the challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

Facing challenges has become a part of my growth journey, guided by my motto: ‘Grow or go!’ I’m naturally drawn to individuals who inspire me and offer opportunities for learning and personal development. Over the past three years, I’ve undergone significant personal growth, which has brought along with it a heightened sense of responsibility. 

With growth comes the realisation that I can’t always control the situations I encounter, but it’s my responsibility to seek out solutions. As our CEO often emphasises, ‘Maak n’ plan’ (Make a plan), and that’s precisely what we do.

Navigating a male-dominated industry has presented its own set of challenges. There have been instances where I’ve felt undermined and overlooked. For a long time, this led me to doubt myself and question whether the journey was worth it. However, with time, I’ve come to realise that those who subjected me to such treatment were often compensating for their own shortcomings.

As I’ve matured, I’ve learned the value of being ‘slow to answer’, allowing wisdom to guide my responses and actions in the face of adversity. Each challenge has ultimately served as a stepping stone toward personal and professional growth, reinforcing my determination to thrive in the face of obstacles.

What has been some of your career highlights?

Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of being involved in a diverse array of projects that have made a significant impact on the lives of individuals across the country. Some of the highlights include:

  • SPUR Masidlale: This initiative, spanning several years, provided a platform for the discovery of talented young athletes aged between 10 to 14 years old, both boys and girls.
  • Lovelife NGO: Working with this organisation, which integrates health, life skills, and sport, has been immensely rewarding as it aims to enhance the lives of many children and young adults.
  • FNB Football First and FNB Classic Clashes: These platforms serve as crucial stepping stones for aspiring footballers, nurturing future national proteas and Springboks.
  • Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon: Being involved in organising the largest breast cancer drive in the country has been a particularly meaningful endeavour, contributing to raising awareness and support for breast cancer research and treatment.
  • Completing my Business Management qualification: Despite facing numerous challenges, completing my qualification during one of the most demanding periods of my career stands out as a personal achievement and a testament to perseverance and dedication.

Each of these experiences has not only enriched my career but has also reinforced my commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others through the power of sports and community engagement.

Not many people know that you can make a career out of branding. If you could sell the idea to a young girl who is considering what you do, what would you say to her?

If I were to pitch the idea of making a career out of branding to a young girl considering her options, here’s what I would say:

“Picture this: ‘Branding Your World.’ It’s not just about slapping logos on products or designing flashy ads. It’s about transforming the mundane into something remarkable. You have the power to beautify the most unexpected spaces, turning them into prime real estate for visibility and impact.

Now, I won’t sugar-coat it—branding is often seen as underrated and overlooked. But therein lies the beauty of it. You’re not just doing a job; you’re tackling a challenge that many shy away from. And let me tell you, there’s immense satisfaction in taking on something others might despise and turning it into your own masterpiece.

In a world where everything seems to be going digital, there’s still a place for the tactile, the tangible, and the creative. And that’s where you come in. Finding your passion for solving the puzzle of branding in a digital age—now that’s something special. It’s about carving out your niche, making your mark, and leaving a lasting impression on the world around you.

So, if you’re considering a career in branding, know that it’s not just about what you do—it’s about the impact you can make, the stories you can tell, and the worlds you can transform. And trust me, there’s no shortage of excitement and fulfilment in that journey.”

What are the key factors to consider when doing branding and activations for a client?

When undertaking branding and activations for a client, several key factors come into play:

  • Understanding client objectives: It’s essential to grasp what the client hopes to achieve through the branding and activations. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or fostering customer loyalty, aligning strategies with these objectives is crucial.
  • Knowing the audience: Identifying the target audience enables tailored activations that resonate with them. Crafting experiences that leave a lasting impression and spark curiosity among the audience is paramount.
  • Creating lasting impressions: The goal is to leave attendees with lingering questions, igniting their curiosity and prompting further engagement. By strategically integrating elements that provoke thought and discussion, activations can leave a memorable impact.
  • Offering solutions: Effective branding and activations should address a problem or fulfil a need for the audience. Whether it’s providing entertainment, education, or inspiration, the ultimate takeaway should be a solution that enhances the audience’s experience and perception of the brand.

How can the media amplify coverage of women who are in branding?

To amplify coverage of women in branding, the media can take several steps:

  • Recognise the untapped market: Acknowledge that women are an integral part of the branding industry and deserve equal recognition and representation: Embrace diversity and inclusivity in coverage, highlighting the achievements and contributions of women in the field.
  • Promote equality: Advocate for gender equality in branding, emphasising the importance of fair treatment and opportunities for all professionals, regardless of gender. By championing a culture of inclusivity and respect, the media can help break down barriers and create a more equitable industry. It’s like doing the ironing… it’s a crap job, but someone has to do it (chuckles).
  • Challenge stereotypes: Challenge stereotypes and biases that may perpetuate gender inequality in branding. Encourage discussions that debunk misconceptions and showcase the diverse talents and capabilities of women in the field.
  • Highlight diverse experiences: Showcase the diverse experiences and perspectives of women in branding, ranging from creative leadership roles to strategic planning and execution. By featuring a range of stories and voices, the media can offer a more comprehensive and accurate portrayal of women’s contributions to the industry.

What is your greatest career ambition?

My greatest career ambition may not be the typical goal of retiring comfortably, as I’ve inherited a trait from my parents that drives me to keep busy and constantly moving forward. While rest is important, I tend to prioritise staying active and engaged in my work.

Unlike some individuals who meticulously plan out their lives, I find myself more focused on being hands-on and embracing each day as it comes. For me, the ultimate ambition is to live each day as though it were my last, making a positive difference wherever I can, leaving a lasting mark on the world, and continuously pushing forward. 

This philosophy drives me to stay proactive and committed to my career, embracing new challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Photo Caption: Sports4U Chief Operating Officer, Tercia Brandreth-Mampane plays a pivotal role in driving the growth and success of Sports4U in the competitive landscape of sports branding and management. All Photos: Supplied

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