Daily Maverick Sports Supporters' Club
2024 Finalist

Daily Maverick Sports Supporters' Club

Daily Maverick

Cape Town, South Africa

Category Readership and Engagement

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Daily Maverick faced a conundrum: we needed to raise R250,000 in order to send our sports editor, Craig Ray, to the Rugby World Cup so that he could cover the event live. For a country such as South Africa, where deep poverty infiltrates our everyday lives, we understood that many of our readers had bigger problems than being kept up-to-date on how our national team were faring in the rugby. 
At the same time, we also understood that our Springbok team were a huge source of national pride, that they gave hope despite hopeless situations and that these reports and coverage would meet the reader need to be inspired and distracted. 
We made the decision to engage with our Maverick Insider members (those who already contribute to help fund our journalism) and ask for their help. 
We created the Daily Maverick Sports Supporters’ Club and set ourselves the following objectives: 
1. Raise R250,000 to cover the costs of Craig’s trip to France 
2. Create a slack channel so that the Daily Maverick team and journalists could interact with our contributing supporters and where we could run polls, ask our readers their opinions and share Craig’s experience with them. 
3. Create a dedicated World Cup newsletter populated with elements from the slack channel and all the latest reports and articles from the competition
Since launching our membership model in 2019, this was the first time where our members could not only interact with Daily Maverick, but with each other. Members of the Sports Supporters Club logged on multiple times a day to chat, share their thoughts and find out the latest results. 
For a news organisation known for its hard-hitting investigations and journalism, this experience allowed us to show the personality of the brand - and the human-ness of our journalists and team. 
Of course, it helped that South Africa went on to win The 2023 Rugby World Cup! 

Results for this campaign

We were overwhelmed with the response from our appeal to our members. In just under two weeks, 720 members contributed in amounts ranging from R10 to R5000 exceeding our goal of R250,000. 
The dedicated slack channel yielded some incredible engagement but perhaps the most exciting was to see what it meant to our members to be on “the inside”. A snapshot of the responses we received: 
“Huge thanks to the DM team for setting up this Slack space. It was a real treat interacting with people here.” 
“I haven’t been watching rugby for some years since my husband passed, but the bug bit again… a huge thank you to Craig for such enjoyable and enlightening posts over these weeks.” 
The success of the slack channel has given us the insight to open up a “network effect” slack channel for all our members in 2024. 
Our dedicated newsletter, Breakdowns and Baguettes, was filled with trivia from the slack channel and Craig’s excellent reports and columns. This weekly newsletter garnered 3,300 subscribers and increased the Maverick Sports newsletter base by 5%. The open rate had a healthy 60% open rate throughout its eight week run. 
Craig also hosted three webinars from France which boasted a 73% conversion rate. 
Undeniably, the greatest success-metric was Craig’s coverage. In total, Craig wrote 57 articles during the World Cup with one article topping 88,876 pageviews. He consistently produced features packed with insight that wouldn't have been possible if he had reported from South Africa. This point was emphasised in the feedback we received:
“Having Craig in France was an excellent investment from my perspective and I am glad to have helped contribute in making this a reality…Craig's writing is always so top-notch...very few SA rugby writers compare when it comes to being wordsmiths.”
We conducted a post-tournament survey of donors. Of the 126 donors who responded to the survey all said they believed their donation was worthwhile.


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