Durban, 31 March 2015: Over the years, The Sharks philosophy has been to utilise our brand to create awareness around the various social issues affecting our fans in an effort to make a lasting difference in the communities we serve.
As one of the most recognised brands in world rugby and with a strong support base both nationally and internationally, we were keen to develop a Legacy Campaign which could be sustainable for generations to come and which loyal Sharks fans could be a part of and benefit from.
With this in mind, ‘The Sharks Forever Fans’ campaign was born, which sees The Sharks team-up with the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF) to create awareness and to promote the issue of organ donation, which ultimately saves lives.
In launching the campaign, The Sharks CEO John Smit said: “We are proud to be able to launch a campaign of this magnitude, which aims to save and change lives as well as leave a lasting legacy not only for our fans but the communities we serve.
“Everyone associated with The Sharks has bought into the project and our hope is that our fans embrace the campaign and the message we want to extend. Our legacy is to ensure that the black and white heartbeat lives on forever and this campaign goes a long way in us trying to achieve that.”
“As a team we are committed to using the platform and exposure we have to send out positive messages that make a difference to our country. We are delighted to lend our support to this campaign and encourage our fans to show their support by signing up to be organ donors,” added Cell C Sharks captain, Bismarck du Plessis.
When The Sharks approached the Organ Donor Foundation with the concept, they were thrilled to be able to join forces with a brand such as The Sharks to aid them with their objectives, more especially as Kwazulu-Natal is the province with the least number of organ donors in South Africa.
Executive Director of the Organ Donor Foundation, Samantha Nicholls is excited about joining forces with The Sharks and commented: “The Sharks care about their fans and are teaming up
with our Foundation to address the desperate shortage of organ donors in KZN. The Sharks created the fantastic campaign ‘Sharks Forever Fans’ and we know this will not only sign up thousands of organ donors but the campaign is guaranteed to save the lives of those who are desperately needing organ transplants.”
All the Cell C Sharks players have signed up to be organ donors and would like to challenge their fans to join them and make KZN proud as a positive contributor to the Organ Donor Foundation, ultimately benefitting the province and the country.
To celebrate the launch, raise public awareness and promote the campaign, the team will be playing in a special ‘Forever Fans’ jersey against the Crusaders at Growthpoint KINGS PARK this Saturday. These limited edition jerseys will be auctioned off after the match and the proceeds raised will go towards the project.
To register as a donor or for further information, please visit the Sharks Forever Fans website, www.foreverfans.co.za. On Saturday, there will also be organ donor registration stations at the various turnstile entrances.
“We players are viewed by many as heroes, but to us, the real heroes are those who fight real life battles and who are still able to remain positive despite the challenges they face,” concluded Bismarck du Plessis.