Vodafone Asantehene Golf Open: How one brand is endearing itself to Asanteman

Throughout the month of May, one brand has consistently been on the lips of every inhabitant in the Ashanti region – Vodafone Ghana.

The telecommunications company made a huge incursion into the region as part of a campaign dubbed, “Ashanti Month”, which had the Asantehene Golf Championship as its ultimate highlight.

Golf has long been a preserve of Ghana’s corporate world – the discipline and precision of the sport continue to reflect on its players – translating into how they apply the rudiments to their daily work ethic. In Kumasi, the sport is touted as one of the leading and most popular, behind football. In fact, every Asantehene, for the past 61-years, has hosted the Golf championship consistently without fail.

So, when Vodafone decided to associate itself with the sport last year – in a five-year strategic partnership with the Royal golf club – it came as a stroke of great inspiration. Vodafone said it was doing it to deliver great benefits to its customers in the Asanteman region, most of whom are golf lovers. Secondly, it was doing it to enhance a closer relationship with the people of the region and to also establish a continuous engagement with the great King – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The reception the brand was met with in Kumasi during the first year of sponsorship in 2017, told it all. The Captain of the Royal Golf club in Kumasi, Professor Bernard Baiden remarked, “I love working with Vodafone.” And he was right. The global brand image of the company insists on doing things the right way – ensuring brand superiority at all times.

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In an industry that delivers products and services at the heart of everyday usage and dependency, telecom companies in Ghana are constantly under pressure to deliver above and beyond. The needs of the customer have become an obsession for every company. A certain commitment to the “service experience” continues to define how industries in the world are responding to the basic requirement of their constituents. It is what Vodafone’s Enterprise Business Director, Angela Mensah-Poku, calls “a customer-centric focus.”

So this year, the campaign in the Ashanti region started quite early. Vodafone was meticulous in its elaborate plan – lining up SME Clinics, corporate customer visits, free health screening, a royal dinner at the palace and digital educational awareness in schools, to give its commitment a holistic feel. The golf championship teed-off much later on Wednesday May 30th. By this time, the brand presence of the company had become mainstay in the region.

Much thought went into the “takeover” of the region. Right from Ejisu into the heart of the capital and beyond, brand elements and pronounced visibility were evident. Customers and golfers flying into the region to participate, had a taste of Vodafone with branded goodies distributed on the aircraft.

The Asantehene made a grand appearance in the company of Vodafone’s CEO, Yolanda Cuba, on Friday June 1st to perform the official ceremony. After the usual courtesies, the monarch looked up into the skies and was surprised to see a drone delivering the official golf ball for his endorsement. Taken aback a bit, he made a humorous remark, “How I’m I to go up there and cut the ball loose”? This drew pronounced laughter from all present. The drone eventually descended right before the Asantehene’s eyes for the official endorsement to be done – to great applause and respect.

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About 300 golfers took part in the Open championship in different categories- professional, amateur, scratch and handicap. Professional golfers including Vincent Torgah, Victor Brave-Mensah and Amos Koblah, are all determined to make a mark when the curtains draw to a close on the evening of Sunday June 3rd, 2018.

Vodafone Chief Executive, Yolanda Cuba, views the partnership as very integral to how her brand delivers value to customers and stakeholders in Ghana; particularly the Ashanti region and beyond.

“We are privileged to be given this platform to partner the region. It is a very important relationship for our brand but most importantly, we are excited that our customers and stakeholders will continue to benefit greatly from our service as we move into an exciting future of endless possibilities.”

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