After taking the global economy to the brink through gambling with other people’s money, bankstas are now turning their beady eyes to wine and sponsoring everything from commercial exhibitions (RMB and WineX), competitions (Old Mutual and the Toasty Show), wine writing competitions (Stranded and the Du Toitskloof Wine Writers Award), cultivars (Worst National and Sauvignon Blanc, ABSA and Pinotage), Auctions (Nerdbank and the Cape Winemakers Guild), sighted wine guides (Diners Club and Platter), French Champagne (Sanlam) and so on and so forth. Ten reasons why bankstas love Bacchus so much:
1) Wine happens in the Cape so lots of freebees from grimy Gauteng down to Cape Town for big knobs and knobesses. Stranded even moved a board meeting to Cape Town last year to coincide with the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year awards dinner. Let the shareholders pay for the tasting trip to Boekenhoutskloof for directors to load up on Christmas tipples.
2) Reflected glory for big knobs from sitting next to international wine celebrities like Oz Clarke at lavish Grande Roche dinners. They even laugh when a director cracks a joke. Heard the one about the Stranded director making love on an electric fence?
3) An opportunity to seduce wine Co-op business away from ABSA. For ABSA execs, a chance to check up on defaulting clients.
4) A chance to acquire budget French Champagne and the opportunity to entertain your friends (sorry, clients) at Summer Place, for free.
5) Discounts for privileged credit card holders at Norman Goodfellows translates to cheaper single malts for directors.
6) Contacts to stock the senior corporate dining room cellar.
7) Support for retired bosses now become wine estate moguls. Stellenbosch is full of them.
8) Better chance that Eben Sadie and a Mullineux will return your secretary’s call.
9) Use bank marketing resources to boost the appellation in which your own wine farm is located, such as the Hemel en Aarde.
10) Buy a guide that evaluates wines sighted and watch the ratings of your own brands improve. Worked for Reg.
The only bank to not join in the feeding frenzy so far is Capitec. But then owner Jannie Mouton is far too smart to fall for these transparent scams from marketing flunkies. Could this be why his share price makes the others look anemic?