Tsogo Sun and Strategic Public Relations have won the Entertainment & Culture category of the global PR awards, the African Excellence Awards 2015, for their ‘The Amazing Slots Race’ activation, which was conceptualised to launch the group’s third annual Slots Factor tournament.
“We are delighted to be presented with this award,” says Priya Naidoo, Tsogo Sun’s GM – General Communications. “Tsogo Sun’s vision is to create great experiences for our guests, and our properties are positioned as the premiere entertainment destinations in their respective areas. The Amazing Slots Race activation was strategically focused on conveying both these positioning statements, while at the same time creating widespread awareness and talkability about the tournament across multiple media platforms.”
The African Excellence Awards are hosted by Communications Director, a magazine for corporate communications and public relations, which is distributed worldwide. The Awards are open to public relations, communications, brand building, and reputation management professionals whose work has displayed exceptional talent and ability.
The 30-strong jury of leading communications professionals evaluated the applications on criteria that included strategy, innovation and creativity, implementation, and results and efficiency, where the Jury considered the results of the projects in relation to the stated targets, as well as the resources used to achieve the results.
Tsogo Sun’s annual Slots Factor tournament was held for the third time in 2015, and an innovative approach to its launch and awareness campaign was required. Strategic Public Relations, a small-to-medium sized Johannesburg-based agency which has consulted to Tsogo Sun for over nine years, creatively conceptualised the Amazing Slots Race as a means to position gaming as a fun form of entertainment while also attracting influential media, celebrities and bloggers to encourage the social conversation and simultaneously showcase aspects of Tsogo Sun’s refurbished Silverstar property, where the Amazing Slots Race took place.
The day started at Montecasino where the guests were divided into their teams and driven to Silverstar in Amazing Slots Race branded vehicles. At Silverstar, the teams visited four pit stops, two roadblocks, and a detour, completing entertaining challenges along the route. Each challenge incorporated an experience at Silverstar, highlighting different aspects of the entertainment destination and throughout the race the contestants were required to use their social media platforms to document their achievements and progress.
For the final challenge, each team had to earn a R100 Slots Factor note to use as a buy-in for a special celebrity Slots Factor tournament, where they played in heats, gaining first-hand experience of the excitement and entertainment value of the Slots Factor tournament.
In congratulating Tsogo Sun and Strategic Public Relations on their win, Rudolf Hetzel, Publisher of Communication Director and Chairman of the Jury, said almost 3 000 entries had been received from around the world. “Awards increasingly matter to clients who can see as clear as day that creativity drives their business. Competitions like the African Excellence Awards mean promotion and new opportunities, new business, better talent, and third-party endorsement. We have set out to meet this demand on the African content by introducing a new brand of Awards. The Excellence Awards are by now a global brand, having started in Europe ten years ago and now a worldwide competition on five continents – today we celebrate the best that African PR has to offer.”
Says Vanessa Naudé, MD of Strategic Public Relations, “It is a privilege to work with a company for whom innovation is second nature. Tsogo Sun encourages an blue sky approach to strategic initiatives, and this one raised the bar in terms of gaming-related PR. Utilising the excitement of the Amazing Race, which meant incorporating aspects such as, teamwork, quick thinking and competitiveness, we were able to attract influencers with a high following within Tsogo Sun’s target market. Most importantly, it allowed us to replicate the fun and excitement of Tsogo Sun’s groupwide slots tournament as the culmination of the experience. The combined team of Tsogo Sun, Montecasino, Silverstar and Strategic PR staff, with assistance from partner agencies Angelfish PR and Eclipse PR, handled the many logistical requirements that ensured the success of the day.”
The results spelled success. #SlotsFactor trended in number one place three times during the launch. Online articles were engaging, positive and visual, with participants sharing their experiences on social media platforms at each challenge, with multiple retweets by their followers. A total of 4 330 tweets and 2 791 735 impressions were generated. The extensive publicity resulted in an increase in Slots Factor buy-ins across the country, and an eventual increase in the tournament prize pool as a result of the heightened participation levels at Tsogo Sun’s 14 casinos.
Said Katlego Mabusela, Kaya FM presenter and one of the Amazing Slots Race contestants, in a TV interview, “It’s one thing for you to send us a press release; it’s a completely different thing for you to immerse us in this space. When we talk about it on the different platforms that we occupy we’re able to talk about it from a place of having experienced it.”
Adds Naidoo, “We aimed to do something different, something innovative that would captivate the influencers, entertain them, showcase our multi-faceted offerings, and inspire them to share their experiences with their audiences. It achieved exactly what we had hoped for: the positive awareness of our Slots Factor tournament – and of gaming as a thrilling form of entertainment.”
Tsogo Sun has a portfolio of over 90 hotels and 14 casino and entertainment destinations throughout South Africa, Africa and the Seychelles. For full details on Tsogo Sun Roulette Masters 2015, visit tsogosun.com, follow on Twitter @TsogoSun or like on Facebook /TsogoSun.