Ricky Zililo, senior sports journalist
Award-winning Bulawayo Chiefs FC have set themselves the goal of complementing their recognition of being among the country’s top three social media and digital marketing campaigns of the year 2021 by producing positive results on the playing field.
The chefs came third in the National Social Media and Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year 2021 category from the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ), receiving their certificate on Thursday.
They were beaten in first place by Zimnat, while Zimgold was the first finalist.
To be shortlisted for the award, MAZ looked at companies and organizations that demonstrated good social engagement on social media platforms. Competitors had to demonstrate good integration with offline activities for the campaigns they ran between August 2020 and August 2021.
In September, Chiefs won MAZ Southern Region’s Best Digital and Media Marketing Campaign for 2021, beating United Refineries Limited and Ingwebu.
The Chiefs, who will turn 10 in two months, are the most followed local club on twitter with 57,400 followers.
As trailblazers, it’s hard to ignore the chefs who, even during the Covid-19 lockdown, continued to make the news with their new clothing line company, Amakhosi Wear.
They managed to win the hearts of neutrals with their captivating tweets.
“This (being the second national finalist) means people see and appreciate our efforts. It’s also an encouragement to score the Bulawayo Chiefs that we need to continue and that we’re on the right track. There is nothing better than being recognized for a good job and now our goal is to win the top prize, ”said Chiefs spokesperson Thulani Javas Sibanda.
Sibanda said her team are motivated by the responses they receive from their followers, who challenge them to generate content that creates dialogue and interaction between chefs and their fans.
“It’s not easy to generate creative material for fan engagement. Lucky for the Bulawayo Chiefs we have a strong squad and every morning we get up and say, what are we going to offer our fans? We need to keep them informed and entertained. When we started the social and digital media movement, we wanted to let people know about the Bulawayo Chiefs and the club’s fans. Now we are mentioned in the same breath with companies like United Refineries, Ingwebu, Zimnat and Zimgold is a bonus.
“Now, even as we keep pushing the marketing side on social media and digital platforms, the big plan is getting results to complement our marketing side. The more results we get, the more we distort digital marketing,” Sibanda said.
The Chiefs believe that winning matches, continuing to post good results will lead to an increase in the number of their followers, their dream being to have a million followers on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Meanwhile, MAZ’s head of corporate communications, Auxilia Chiukuse, praised the chefs for pioneering sports and making their brand visible.
“The awards celebrate excellence in marketing in Zimbabwe. We also honor companies, brands and personalities who would have excelled.
“In their nomination form, the Bulawayo chefs have shown that they are visible on Twitter with good following. They were very active and engaged their audience. In addition, they have interacted with other clubs, locally and internationally, making their brand visible beyond borders, ”Chiukuse said. – @ZililoR