They stole my idea!

By Drum Digital
01 June 2010

The sun is streaming through the windows of the offices in Newtown, Joburg, as he drums his fingers on the boardroom table.

It’s the kind of habit common among stressed-out corporate executives, but this guy is only 18 years old and his slight frame is dwarfed by his large shirt.

Anza Tshabuse looks more like an overdressed kid than a real power player, but don’t be fooled. He has the confidence of a man twice his age and nerves of steel – and he’s going to need them as he embarks on a court case many would run from.

This entrepreneur from Diepsloot, Soweto, believes he’s been cheated out of a fortune by the Local Organising Committee (LOC).

So he’s suing them for R20 million, the money he reckons he would’ve made if he hadn’t been sidelined.

“Simply put, the LOC took my idea and used it without paying me. I got no benefit and that pains me. Now I’m going to sort it out,” he says, playing with the Lycra band in his hands.

Anza, a real go-getter who has been dabbling in business since the age of 12 and is now director of a sports marketing and management company, is eager to tell us his David and Goliath story.

His idea is simple, he says, sounding like a seasoned marketer. “I call it the Brand An Band and this is how it works: you take the captain’s armband, which is a sign of status and power, and turn it into a marketing gimmick.”

By reproducing the armbands into something fans would buy and wear, businesses could buy space on them to advertise their logos or products.

“The captain’s armband represents leadership and is a powerful platform to promote your brand . . . and no one had thought of it before.”

The LOC, however, adapted his idea and used it during the glitzy World Cup draw at the end of last year, he claims.

Read the full article in the Drum of 27 May 2010.

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