Kaizer Chiefs and NWU Vaal team-up for unique study

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 03/04/2015 - 11:04

Kaizer Chiefs and NWU Vaal team-up for unique study

In one of the first official knowledge generation projects of the Kaizer Chiefs Innovation Centre, which is situated on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), a practical research project will see academics from the Department of Industrial Psychology take to the sporting pavilion in the weeks to come.

Researchers will – together with Kaizer Chiefs, investigate factors that contribute towards the levels of motivation of sports fans as well as the development of psychological affinity towards a particular sport team. 

Campus Rector, Prof Thanyani Mariba and Kaizer Chief's CEO, Kaizer Motaung during the launch of the NWU Vaal and Kaizer Chiefs Partnership in 2014 Members of the senior management of both Kaizer Chiefs and the Vaal Triangle Campus pictured with some of the players The partnership between the NWU Vaal and Kaizer Chiefs represents a unique initiative within higher education in South Africa

According to Mr Ederick Stander, the Subject Chair of Industrial Psychology on the Vaal Triangle Campus, the research is aimed at better understanding the South African sport consumer – especially within the context of much sought after sporting codes such as soccer. “Through this practical research initiative we will be able to provide the Kaizer Chiefs Executive Management with a greater insight and data breakdowns of why exactly different groups - within their current fraternity of fans, react and affiliate so strongly to the Kaizer Chiefs brand,” explains Stander.

Another aim of the research initiative is to better understand fan behaviour to enable Kaizer Chiefs to further fine-tune their marketing and engagement strategies. Honours students in the programmes Industrial Psychology, Human Resources and Labour Relations will also get the opportunity to participate as fieldworkers on the project as part of their practicum. The latter refers to their Organisational Behaviour module.

Let the games begin

The first round of the project takes place on Saturday, 7 March - when Kaizer Chiefs will be facing their arch rivals, Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby - one of the most fiercely contested games in world football. The project forms part of the Campus’s mandate to act as a knowledge resource partner to Kaizer Chiefs by means of the Kaizer Chiefs Innovation Centre. This centre will officially be opened in May of this year.

More about the Kaizer Chiefs Innovation Centre

Other projects for 2015 include delivery of accredited certificate courses to the Kaizer Chiefs Youth Academy staff, as well as development of Life after Football Interventions aimed at the current Kaizer Chiefs players.

NWU Vaal and Kaizer Chiefs announced their unique partnership in October 2013 and the partnership sees the University availing its expertise to benefit young talented footballers at the club’s Youth Academy in Johannesburg.  The Centre for Continuing Professional Development (CCPD) on the Vaal Triangle Campus will furthermore serve as the point of contact between the football club and experts across the University. The expertise will be specifically utilised to develop young football players in totality and therefore do not only include playing skills.  The NWU will provide consultancy and advice on a wide variety of topics. These include finance, nutrition, psychological preparation for high performance sport and physical conditioning. The footballers will be developed in academic and professional fields in order to prepare them for life after their professional football careers. Ederick says the partnership with Kaizer Chiefs has several benefits for the NWU. In addition to the marketing benefits of the association with a world-renowned brand like that of Kaizer Chiefs, the NWU will strengthen its third stream income revenue through the implementation of expertise.

Another result of the collaboration between Kaizer Chiefs and the University is the Kaizer Chiefs Innovation Centre that is vested on the Vaal Triangle Campus.  This centre – a first of its kind within the higher education sphere, will allow staff and students , as well as supporters from the local community , the opportunity to experience the total Kaizer Chiefs brand experience. “The partnership with Kaizer Chiefs is proof of the NWU’s good reputation as a research institution with an excellent knowledge base and as an internationally recognized destination for sports development," he said.