Following a year long hiatus, the country’s most innovative sporting fixture makes a return. Launched in 2011, the Carling Black Label Cup made waves across the country by giving the everyday South African fan the opportunity to select their preferred starting line-up, and stand a chance to lead their team to victory on match-day, as the Champion Coach. The brand introduced this unique football spectacle to give fans an unprecedented opportunity to directly influence one of the biggest football rivalries ahead of the upcoming football season.

Excited by the new approach and direction, Carling Black Label Brand Director, Grant Pereira said: “

In recognizing the necessity to evolve the concept of the Carling Cup, while simultaneously retaining the elements which are core to the DNA of the property, we are retaining the selection of the starting line-up, and Champion Coach experience. However, staying true to our bold character, and our role in enabling the voice of the fan, we are excited to announce the 2019 Game Changers, and in doing so, give the Champion Fan the opportunity to voice their opinion, and shape the future of football.

We are fortunate enough to have an amazing partnership with the two Soweto Giants in Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who both have such a rich history in football and who share our ambition in innovating and empowering the voice of the fan. “said Pereira

In 2019, we could not ignore the growing influence of technology on the game which is realized in the form of technology such as VAR and goal-line technology but also in the form of social media where a large amount of football discussions take place. We will open up channels of communication for the fans to voice their opinions on what changes they hope to see at future Carling Cup games. We truly seek to touch on all aspects of the game and have partnered with the incredible Ian Wright who has brought some wonderful insight on the direction in which football is heading globally.” he concluded.

The brand’s innovative approach in giving fans a bigger role in their team’s decision making was endorsed at the launch event by the English football legend and pundit, Ian Wright who was in attendance.  Wright gave his well-informed perspective through a description of how fans have in recent times become more vocal and actively involved in how teams are being managed “We’ve seen around the world that the voice of the fan is the most powerful voice in football. Social media, fan reporters, bloggers, video games and the availability of what used to be “club only” data and technology has empowered fans even more to have the most in-depth knowledge and insight into their teams.”

I’m very proud to be working on this year’s Carling Cup – the Soweto Derby at the world-renowned FNB Stadium is one of the most iconic events in the game and it is a real privilege to be here, engaging with some of the most passionate fans in football.” Wright said.

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