The country’s biggest football showdown is gearing up for an iconic 5 year milestone as Carling Black Label launched the fifth edition of the Carling Black Label Cup at the cathedral of the Soweto derby, the FNB stadium on Monday, 4 May 2015.
Looking back on the past four years, Carling Black Label has been successful in creatively amplifying the most fiercely contested match in the country by being the only brand to provide a platform for fans to have a strong influence on a globally followed match that brings the entire country to a complete standstill.
Stadium record-breaking attendance, fans selecting their starting line-ups, making substitutions through cellphones as well as passionate supporters getting the opportunity to Be The Coach on match day, are all the ingredients that have brewed the success of the Carling Black Label Cup.
The Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates has over the years created long lasting memories to the rich football history in South Africa, since the two clubs met for the first time on 24 January 1970. As a result, the biggest beer brand in the country partnered with two of the most successful football clubs from Soweto to build onto these memories through making ordinary fans feel like true Champions by giving them the power to be the coach.
As 2015 marks the fifth year of the Carling Black Label Cup, it has since grown to become the most sought after event on the football calendar. Leading up to the five year milestone, fans still reminisce on the past four editions of the most popular derby in the country. It was in the inaugural edition in 2011 when the Buccaneers came out victors in a thrilling encounter against their arch-rivals after a 4-3 nail-biting penalty shootout that set the tone for what was to come.
As the popularity of the Carling Black Label Cup intensified, so did the records break as 2012 became the very first time the FNB stadium recorded the highest number of spectators for any event through the Carling Black Label Cup. It was on the same match that Kaizer Chiefs looked to have sealed the victory until Benedict McCarthy cancelled Abia Nale’s goal on the last minute to send the match to penalties for Orlando Pirates to defend their title. With Orlando Pirates claiming two consecutive Carling Black Label Cup titles, Kaizer Chiefs were determined to get one past their rivals. It was through a well struck Lehlohonolo Majoro goal in the second half that the Glamour Boys claimed the first Carling Black Label Cup title in 2013. The 2014 edition saw another thrilling tense affair between the two Soweto giants which resulted in the Buccaneers claiming back the title through a tightly contested 6-5 victory.
The campaign’s partnership with the two Soweto giants has given the Soweto derby a unique twist that also affords the clubs the opportunity for real fan engagement. This was attested to by Kaizer Chiefs chairman, Mr Kaizer Motaung.
“When Kaizer Chiefs was approached with the concept of the Carling Black Label Cup, we had no hesitation of this partnership because it is in line with the club’s vision of engaging with its passionate supporters. Through this unique innovation, we have been able to partner with Carling Black Label and give our fans the opportunity to have an influence on the biggest match of the country.
Mr Motaung’s sentiments were also echoed by his counterpart, Dr Irvin Khoza saying that Orlando Pirates has enjoyed an incredible partnership with Carling Black Label.
“We are proud to be celebrating this iconic five year milestone with Carling Black Label. It has been quite an eventful journey that has seen Orlando Pirates fans enjoying a unique and proudly South African initiative. We have seen the great response from not just the Orlando Pirates family but football supporters from across the country on this campaign. As a club, we want to urge our supporters and the rest of the country to rally behind the Carling Black Label Cup once again” said Dr Khoza.
The highly anticipated match which always produces nail-biting rivalry will be staged on 25 July 2015 at the iconic FNB Stadium.
Carling Black Label General Manager, Mr Vijay Govindsamy believes that as the campaign reaches the five year mark, fans can expect an even bigger and better Carling Black Label Cup that will ignite the imaginations of football supporters.
“As of today, fans will see the Carling Black Label Cup coming to life in an even bigger way through massive roadshows in and around Soweto, trophy tours across the country to bring the campaign closer to their fans and Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates supporters clubs visits with our 2014 Champion Coaches to mobilise voting and share their coaches experience story. Another exciting innovation that fans can look forward to this year is the giant jersey signing on match day. For the first time in the history of the Soweto derby, fans will be able to sign their messages of support on their team’s giant jerseys as they walk into the stadium. Both these jerseys will be displayed on the pitch just before kick-off. From its 2011 inception, we have seen tremendous growth of the Carling Black Label Cup. While we celebrate this significant milestone, we also look forward to another 5 years of empowering Champions through football” said Govindsamy.