South African media giant Ole! Media recently bought boutique digital sports consultancy FullCircle Sport Online, causing ripples in the sports world. HumanIPO caught up with Desere Orill, group chief marketing officer (CMO) and managing director (MD) of MobiMedia.

HumanIPO: Why did Ole! Media decide to bring the sports consultancy on board?

Orill: One of the companies within the Ole! Media Group, TEAMtalk media, is a digital sports news agency and digital sports publisher. We employ a team of sports journalists who cover global sporting events, providing news to power our own sites as well as syndicated content which we offer to a wide range of international media clients. Among these are Sky Media, ESPN, Fox, SuperSport, Primedia and Naspers, to mention but a few.

Within the natural scope of expansion in our industry, we have over the years acquired smaller entities and assimilated these into the organisation, whenever this has seemed beneficial. We respect Thapelo Moloantoa as a seasoned professional in the field of football journalism, and therefore we felt that merging FullCircle Sport Online into our organisation would be a positive move.

How will this acquisition change the digital scape in the sports arena?

With the assimilation of FullCircle, we have expanded our circle of expertise especially when it comes to local football reporting, and through our global network and systems, we are able to provide the former FullCircle clients with a wider range of services and greater depth of coverage.

How is it set to change Ole! Media’s ways of doing business?

We don’t foresee the acquisition of FullCircle Sport Online as changing the way we do business: rather, we see this as affirmation of our continuing drive to provide the best sports coverage for our audience and the best suite of publishing services for the sports associations and brands who are our mandated clients. It is our objective to deepen our customer relationships in the South African football world, and to continue improving the service we offer our clients.

What will FullCircle be mandated to do under Ole! Media?

The former employees of Full Circle Sports Online have joined the TEAMtalk media team and as such they will form part of a global organisation which provides sports news to local, national and international brands, agencies and media houses. They will also help to boost the coverage of local football in South Africa, as this is their particular area of expertise. As part of the TEAMtalk media squad, their role is to reinforce the TEAMtalk brand and expand our client base and service offering in South Africa and beyond.

When was Ole! Media started in Kenya, and what does it do?

September 2013. The Kenyan branch of Ole! Media Group is responsible for managing existing client relationships in Kenya and for expanding the client base within Kenya and East Africa, working in collaboration with partners in the mobile industry.

How was the reception in Kenya?

It is early days, but so far we have met with an encouraging response from media houses, networks and other mobile and digital content players in the Kenyan media landscape.

What are you working on currently?

We are currently working on a very interesting project in the Kenyan sporting arena, in collaboration with a major South African media house. When this project comes off, you’ll be the first to know!

Any future plans?

We see the East African market as a fertile ground, where the customers are hungry for content – news, information, entertainment, sports, as well as education. We consider ourselves well placed to assist in the creation and distribution of content to meet these needs

Is there anyone in particular you would like to work with?

Safaricom seems to ‘own’ the mobile space in Kenya, so of course they are a key potential client. However, we also are in talks with one or two smaller contenders, who have compelling product offerings and vibrant marketing strategies, so it would seem that there is room for more than one player in the world of Kenyan communications.