The prestigious Absa Cape Epic walked away with top honours in the category Sport Participation Event at the Discovery Sport Industry Awards 2014, held at the Sandton Convention Centre last night (Thursday, 13 February 2014). The Sports Industry Awards celebrate the most creative, innovative and commendable work from South Africa’s finest sporting sector.
Says Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the Absa Cape Epic: “We’re thrilled to have won the Sport Participation Event of the Year category. At the core of our brand is partnerships – which starts with the 2-person team racing format. Many an Epic-finisher will say that choosing your partner for the Epic is by far the most important decision you will make in your medal-quest. Our most important partnership is our partnership with Absa. We’ve invested everything we’ve got to give into building this relationship, and we feel that this approach has been mutual.
“Fos us, brand innovation is key. It starts with the mere fact that we change the route every year, which we feel is in fact fundamental for a truly great stage race, be it road or mountain bike. This sets the tone for our company’s culture, which is one which embraces change. We are always looking for improvements that enhance the rider experience or the value of our brand. We’re the only mountain bike race in South Africa that sets out to change their route from year to year.”
In order to grow the brand further, Vermaak comments that the team plans the route 18 months out. “The route for 2015 is finalised already, and will be announced in detail as usual in October. But 2015 will be a special year, which will see another sea change to our concept, akin to when we moved the start of the race from Knysna to Cape Town back in 2009. We will make a special announcement in May this year, which will describe the next big innovation in the format of the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race. Watch this space… it will be very exciting for the growth of the Epic.”
Vermaak concludes: “From my side, I’d like to use this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making the Absa Cape Epic such an exciting and well-supported event.”