Tag Archives: Most Elegant Couple

J&B Met 2015: Made for the Mix!

J&B MetThe J&B Met is a Cape Town institution, celebrating its 38th anniversary this year, but having been run for more than 135 years.   Taking place at Kenilworth Race Course today with the theme ‘Made for the Mix’, the race is expected to attract 50000 punters and fashionistas.

The Mix slogan describes that the J&B Met is a mix of the ‘fashionable and the famous‘.  It invites attendees to mix with different people at the event, to combine different fashion styles, 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