Aside from the general election, and mostly one tragic event, no other event has drawn Kenyans together than the recent WRC safari rally.
It is widely believed that safari has brought Kenya‘s happiest moments at home and abroad.
Figures from social media platforms of the WRC promoter and other independent sources confirm one thing: Nothing in this country has a stronger appeal than sport. Second, motorsport is undoubtedly the number one sport in Kenya today.
A country with previous world-class sporting accolades, from athletics, rugby sevens and to a lesser extent golf, marveled at the international reception of a hugely successful WRC event in Naivasha last month.
The WRC promoter, who commercially manages the global race track on behalf of the FIA (International Automobile Association), published the report on the media impact of the WRC Safari Rally.
The report revealed that Safari Rally had the highest ‘Facebook’ impressions in the series’ 53-year history.
If you add ‘WhatsApp’, ‘Instagram’ impressions and other media, that number exceeded 120 million.
These safari rally numbers could help the WRC crack the one billion “magic” number that it has been aiming for for “far too long”.
The Safari Rally Information Team achieved the best worldwide with 500 percent on all platforms. It is also spectacular that a local media company, Nation Africa, ranks in the top 15 worldwide and first in Africa in coverage and reach of Safari Rally, and is only recognized by media such as BBC News (GBR), Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo News (USA), Marca (ESP), India Today, Le Figaro (FRA), Yahoo! Sport (USA) and BBC Sport (GBR).
In addition, Youtube recorded 16 million Safari rally viewers. In Japan, the most watched scene in the Kenya Safari rally was 69 million people who came across the picture of Japanese Toyota Gazoo racing driver Takamoto Katsuta spinning through a section in the middle of a track in a live TV helicopter.
Promoting the Safari Rally as a scenic tourist destination exceeded previous expectations and it was “music to the ears of the Kenyan government that has devoted tremendous resources to the event.
The unfortunate fall of one of the rally competitors, Tejveer Rai, was watched by 1.2 million spectators. In terms of looks, the Safari Rally outperformed other leading WRC events, namely Italy (Sardegna) by 3-1.
On site, the newspaper “Nation” provided the Safari Rally with free advertising worth 25 million. Estimates show that the on-site spectators were half a million people starting the route from (the central business district) Nairobi, a super-spectator stage in the suburbs from Kasarani to Naivasha, 110 km away, and within the spectator- Stages in national parks, private and community wildlife sanctuaries around Lake Naivasha.
The WRC Safari Rally was announced at the legendary Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Only Chile corresponded to a head of state who performed the function.
If these trends continue, supported by a better regional reach in East and Central Africa, the safari can on the one hand become an important marketing tool to promote national and international tourism.
The government could use these numbers to boost other sectors of the economy that need foreign investment because sport is business too.