Jo'burg, 09 July - Industry partners - kulula.com, British Airways (operated by Comair Limited), Europcar and Protea Hotels - have teamed-up with Sappi to encourage the over 450 000 international tourists who flocked to the country for the World Cup to show some love to their host country by getting their kit off before they head home - all in the name of charity.
Heidi Brauer, Comair's executive manager: group marketing says, "Because it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Africa may have been perceived to be hot all year long, we're sure many international fans purchased some extra padding to keep them warm during our surprisingly chilly winter. However, if they didn't allow for some extra weight in their suitcases, lugging all that unexpected shopping back home again once the tournament is over could be costly."
Relieving them of their extra kilos, the partners have designed 100 customised 'Get your kit off' collection bins and placed them in high volume areas across the country such as international departure halls, Protea Hotel foyers and Europcar depots. All clothes collected through the bin drive will be donated to the internationally recognised Salvation Army. It helps the destitute, homeless and abused; rejected pensioners and single parents who cannot support themselves and their children.
"Today's harsh economic climate and high unemployment rates have had a dramatic impact on the homelessness problem in South Africa. The Salvation Army has provided accommodation to many of these needy people over the years and the donations from the 'Get your kit off' campaign will go to good use," explains Captain Garth Niemand from the Salvation Army.
Sappi's marketing manager Graham Futter adds that, "Much like the World Cup will leave its legacy for the country through economic development, increased exposure overseas and positive promotion of brand South Africa among locals, we see this initiative as an opportunity for our international visitors to leave their own personal legacy behind through the donation of their extra clothes."
And, while the campaign is largely aimed at foreigners, it is open to all South Africans who want to participate in the worthy cause.
"We have all enjoyed the last four weeks of the World Cup celebrations. Now it's time for our locals and visitors to give back to the communities and spread the positivity that this once-in-a-lifetime experience has created even further", says Europcar's CEO Dawn Nathan-Jones.
Showing their support of the campaign in-house, staff members at Protea Hotels have even pledged to get their own kit off for charity and will donate any spare clothes they have to the campaign. "We can only hope that the international and South African visitors who are travelling this month will be equally generous," concludes Arthur Gillis, CEO of the Protea Hospitality Group.
The campaign will run between 11 July and 31 July 2010.