SPAR South Africa’s Women’s Virtual Challenge nets two awards

January 10, 2022 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes, Sport sponsorship

SPAR South Africa’s Women’s Virtual Challenge won two categories at the prestigious Hollard Sports Industry Awards held on 26 November 2021. The Awards recognise excellence in sporting events, leadership, performance, and creative execution in South Africa. There is a high level of participation in award submissions each year from advertising agencies and sports marketing companies.

The Fan Engagement Award assessed brand engagement with the public, leading to interaction with multiple touchpoints around an initiative. The Health & Wellbeing Award recognises brands that trigger public participation in projects designed to encourage healthy living and fitness among all South Africans. The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge won both of these new awards in recognition of the extent of their engagement with local fans and the emphasis on healthier lifestyles through running.

SPAR South Africa were thrilled that the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2021 was awarded both the Fan Engagement Award and Health & Wellbeing Event of the Year Award. Over 50,000 people participated in this initiative, enabling SPAR to donate just as many packs of sanitary pads to girls in need. This confirms that mass–appeal virtual events have the potential to bring people together for good, that healthy living is valued by South Africans and that people want to help make a difference.

“This year, we celebrate the brand owners, the agencies, and the media owners who have inspired us, entertained us and keep us healthy at a time when we needed it more than ever. We’ve seen so much wonderful inventiveness in entries this year – somehow we’ve managed to hear crowds cheering, even though there weren’t any in the stadiums”, says Heidi Brauer, Hollard’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“Heartfelt congratulations to the deserving winners, and to each and every person who has played a part in keeping sports, brands, and campaigns alive and entertaining during this really strange and difficult time”, she adds.

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge was launched in 2020 as a homage to South African women’s resilience and strength amid the uncertainty and strife brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a virtual event, there were no geographic boundaries to the race, while participants could decide on their location, route, pace, and whether to do it alone or as a community. The virtual challenge was strongly supported in both years by runners, with entry fee income supporting also local charitable causes.