Tag Archives: Kenilworth Racecourse

J&B Met 2014: Cape Town ‘Made to Conquer’, ‘victorious dress’!

J&B Met 2014The 37th J&B Met will be held at the Kenilworth Racecourse today, the longest standing sport event in the country.  More than 50000 fashionistas, socialites, and horse racing fans are expected to attend the event which has a jackpot of R2,5 million generates about R68 million for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and creates an income of R14 million for fashion design alone.

The theme this year is ‘Made to Conquer – Dress Victoriously’, and will inspire the J&B Met attendees in buying their outfits for the most prestigious society event.  The J&B Most Elegant Couple Competition will acknowledge the most creative interpretation of the theme.  Shop windows of fashion outlets in top Cape Town shopping malls will be dressed to match the theme.

Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde lauded the economic impact of the event: ‘The J&B Met illustrates the importance to our economy of events tourism. It’s one of 19 events which contribute more than R1.3 billion to our regional GDP. In the previous financial year, these major events attracted close to 200 000 tourists to the Western Cape. Over the next few weeks several signature events will be taking place including the Mining Indaba, the Design Indaba and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. With its R2.5 million main prize, the J & B Met is a premier fixture on the Western Cape’s events calendar. I believe the Western Cape economy is the real winner of the Met, as the event attracts over 50 000 visitors and generates an estimated R68 million for the province. It’s a key economic driver and plays an important role in job creation, most notably in the events tourism space‘.

Entrance to the J&B Lifestyle Village ‘powered by 5FM’ costs R495 (includes entrance, parking, entertainment such as Goldfish Continue reading →

J&B Met ‘Made Different’, poor tourism impact this year!

The J&B Met (with a prize money of R2,5 million) is one of the top events in Cape Town, and used to have a strong tourism impact, receiving sponsorship and marketing support from Cape Town Routes Unlimited, but the event at Kenilworth Racecourse today appears to have the poorest attendance by out-of-towners ever, if Camps Bay accommodation bookings (or lack of) is anything to go by.

Traditionally stimulating the Cape Town fashion and hospitality industry, the J&B Met is a sought-after event on the Cape Town social calendar, and is estimated to attract 50000 punters today.  “Last year the direct economic impact of people attending the J&B Met came close to R40 million. This was with only 41 200 attending. With more attendees this year, we expect the yield to be higher,” said Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, marketing Cape Town and the Western Cape. “The importance of events in promoting a destination cannot be underestimated as they are great catalysts for drawing visitors to the province year round. We hope that this event will introduce a slew of new visitors from Southern Africa to experience the charms of our wonderful destination,” he added.

To demonstrate Responsible Tourism, the fashion theme for the J&B Met is ‘Made Different’, encouraging fashionistas to have their outfits made from recycled and remodelled fashion, vying to win the ‘Most Elegant Couple’ competition.  A percentage of ticket sales will go to the conservation of the Kenilworth Conservation Area, home to a number of protected plant and wildlife species.

Cape Town Tourism’s estimate that the J&B Met, the 35th, will contribute R65 million to the Western Cape today appears widely over-stated, given that for the first time in many years there are barely any accommodation bookings for J&B Met attendees at guest houses in Camps Bay, traditionally fully booked for this last weekend in January.  Instead of spreading the tourism benefit of the J&B Met amongst as many of its members as possible, Cape Town Tourism has partnered with one hotel only, Southern Sun Newlands, offering a two-day R2479 package, which includes a flight with Mango, in conjunction with UbuntuDeal.

J&B Met, Kenilworth Racecourse. R175. www.jbmet.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Is J&B Met the last gallop for J&B?

The J&B Met is the fashion and society highlight of the year on the South African calendar, attracting many who know little about horse racing (and often about fashion too!).  Now the sponsorship of the event by one of the world’s best-known brands is under threat, and could be a threat to the hospitality industry in Cape Town too.   Today could see the last J&B-sponsored Met.

It is proposed that new legislation will see a ban on advertising of alcoholic beverages, and therefore the sponsorship of the horse racing event by J&B would no longer be allowed.   It would need a hugely powerful non-alcoholic brand, with an extensive marketing budget, to fill the J&B ‘hooves’, given the focus they have placed on the event for a number of years, not only on the day itself, but linking PR to it too, inviting VIP’s, and organising after-parties and annual best-dressed shop competitions too.  The event is so successful that South Africa generates the third highest J&B sales in the world.

The theme of today’s Met is “Larger than Life”, and fashionistas are bemoaning the difficulty of finding something suitable to wear to match this vague theme.   In the advertisement for the event, it is described as “Massive outfits, oversized accessories, gigantic personalities”.  The event is supported by Cape Town Routes Unlimited, but its blue logo is barely visible on the black background in the advertisement.   More than 50000 fashionistas are expected to be at Kenilworth Racecourse today. 

The event is a boost for fashion designers, as the TV cameras and newspaper photographers will be focusing on the couples who may win the ‘Most Elegant Couple’ prizes.    The Cape Argus reports that R18 million alone is expected to be spent on clothing for the event, while the event adds another R34 million in accommodation, meals and travel related income to the economy of the Western Cape. 

The attendance by non-Capetonians seems to have declined this year, as accommodation bookings for this weekend appear to be far lower than in years before.  Typically overstating the value of the event for tourism, which is a two-day stay for non-Capetonians attending on average, is the media comment by Cape Town Tourism Executive Manager for Marketing, Lianne Burton, about the value of the event: “…essentially extends Cape Town’s summer party season by a month after the end of the school holidays (schools went back only two weeks ago, and Cape Town has just suffered one of the worst two-week summer lulls ever)!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter:@WhaleCottage

J&B Met has millions riding on it for Cape Town!

The J&B Met has become one of the largest events to be held in Cape Town, probably second to the Argus Cycle Tour, in attracting 50 000 spectators and in generating income of R20 million for the fashion industry alone, with further income benefits to the Mother City of expenditure on accommodation, restaurants, car rental, and shopping. 

Taking place at Kenilworth Racecourse today, the J&B Met is THE society event of the year in Cape Town, and is all about style, glamour and fashion.   It showcases the best fashion design in the country.   The theme this year is “In Full Colour”, allowing fashionistas to express their creativity on a perfect Cape Town summer’s day.

The J&B Met is branded in 400 shops around the country, even in Durban and Gauteng, to gain marketing mileage for J&B.   Fashions than can be worn to the Met are on display in the shop windows. 

Sixteen horses will gallop to the finish line, competing for the R 2,5 million prize money.   The J&B Most Elegant couple will also be selected.

More information can be obtained from www.jbmet.co.za 

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com