The Springboks who lifted the Rugby World Cup last month in France put the nation into a festive mood, as new data revealed that spending by South Africans during the tournament increased.
This was according to Discovery Bank’s second SpendTrend23 Report.
The Bank revealed Rugby World Cup 2023 insights, which explored how the major world sporting event impacted the spending habits of Discovery Bank clients between September 1 and October 28, 2023 – in France and back home in South Africa.
Hylton Kallner, the CEO of Discovery Bank, said, “Winning the 2023 Rugby World Cup was a historic moment for the South African rugby team and our country. As a bank built on digital technology, our insights help us to create better experiences for our clients and improve our products. We wanted to share our analytics around the event, which has displayed the remarkable ability to unite and inspire our nation.”
The report showed that flights booked from South Africa to the United Kingdom increased by 66% as fans tried to make their way to France to watch the Springboks. There were also 50 times more flights booked from South Africa to France compared with the same time in 2022.
The bank also said that more than 1 000 Discovery Bank clients attended a Rugby World Cup match in person as spend shifted from tourist hotspots to the vicinity of Stade de France on game days.
“Ordinarily this would be an immediate alert for potential fraud but we were excited by the knowledge that the Springboks would be getting a lot of cheers in the stadium. Whether clients supported the Bokke from South Africa or from their seats in France’s stadiums, they spent more, there was an overall peak in spend on every day that South Africa played,” Discovery stated.
After the final match was won, spend among clients in South Africa increased by three times compared to any other average Saturday night during the year, with the celebration peaking minutes after the final whistle was blown.
It wasn’t just consumers who got into the spending mood, as SA Inc also got involved in the winning spirit surrounding the world champions.
Pick n Pay Clothing said last week it had offered free rugby T-shirt printing to customers who bought a tee from their affordable, locally made 100% BCI cotton T-shirt range.
More than 42 000 tees were printed over eight weeks, with almost half printed in three days leading up to the final match on Saturday, the retailer said in a statement.
“The response was extraordinary as official partner stores had sold out of official Springbok clothing,” it said.
Pick n Pay Clothing said it also sold around 1 million official Springbok merchandise items. This range launched in July and sold out during the early games of the tournament.
Meanwhile, telecoms giant MTN South Africa, which is the principal sponsor of the Boks, last week also announced that it would be contributing R30 million to the SA Rugby Growth Fund, R10m per year for the next three years, in recognition of the Springbok’s historic victory at the Rugby World Cup.
Charles Molapisi, the CEO at MTN SA, offered his heartfelt congratulations to the Boks, and said, “We are deeply privileged to have been a part of this journey alongside the Springboks. Each one of you has consistently shown us what nation-building, unity and unwavering dedication can achieve. This R30 million contribution is to help SA Rugby ensure that the next generation of players of this calibre can be discovered, from every corner of the country, to ensure the next Siya is nurtured and developed through the rugby ranks.
MTN said the Springboks, were a source of immense national pride, and had consistently gone to great lengths to bring people together.
Dis-Chem has also pledged R12 million, R1m for every point scored in the Rugby World Cup (RWC) final match, to be directed towards tackling South African challenges.
The retail pharmacy’s CEO Rui Morais was so inspired by the sentiment change in South Africa following Saturday’s Springbok RWC victory, that he penned a letter to Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his team. The letter celebrated the big shift in sentiment brought about by the Springbok’s momentous fourth RWC win.