SMS takes to the waves
Drawing on inspiration gathered from Hawaii, California and Africa, Signature Surf + Skate is a family-owned lifestyle brand that boasts authenticity and unique style. Founded by Ivan van Vuuren and his family, Signature is dedicated to providing the best surf, skate and SUP (stand up paddling) products available worldwide. Since its launch in 2013, Signature Surf + Skate has hosted two successful surf and SUP events in Cape Town, South Africa, that have given locals the chance to showcase their skills in a fun and competitive environment. To ensure that each event ran smoothly, Signature Surf + Skate added SMS into the mix.
The first event was the Signature Summer Games held in Blouberg during December 2016. Nicknamed the "funnest event of the year" this three-day surf and SUP competition saw over 165 entrants take to the waves. Van Vuuren needed a reliable communication channel to ensure each entrant received time-sensitive information, for van Vuuren, this meant SMS.
SMS messages were sent to each entrant the evening prior to their heat using the BulkSMS Desktop Messenger. These SMS messages contained updates for the following day including expected weather conditions and the start times of the various heats. Van Vuuren states that "The Summer Games had one of the largest groups of surfers and SUPs to ever gather for one event. With multi disciplines and numerous divisions, clear communication was essential as we were under tight time restraints with no margin for error or delays. BulkSMS proved 100% reliable and effective; it kept all the entrants updated at each stage of the three-day event."
The following event hosted by Signature Surf + Skate was the Century City Carnival Sup event that took place in March 2017. This one-day event was the first of nine national races for the year, and a great opportunity for racers to put their points on the board towards the Stand Up Paddling South Africa (SUPSA) race rankings. As with the Summer Games event, timing again was key as this event was under critical time restraints being part of the Century City Carnival so every minute mattered. SMS was used as the primary communication tool above social media and e-mail and proved extremely useful in keeping the race entrants informed on start-times as well on race results at the end of the competition.
"SMS provided clear communication to every one of our entrants. Unlike Facebook and e-mail communication, SMS notifications are received by everyone with a mobile phone; it was the perfect solution for our communication needs. We at least had the assurance that the SMS notifications had reached every entrant," says Van Vuuren. SMS allowed for the organisers of the event to stick to the race schedule which ultimately resulted in a smooth and well-coordinated event.
When asked why SMS was chosen as the primary communication tool when coordinating these events, Van Vuuren stated that "at first we were unsure of the benefit that sending SMSes to entrants, sponsors and staff would add, after all, isn't everyone up to speed on Facebook, e-mails and social media? But we quickly realised that not everyone was up to date with all of our communications on these channels and as event organisers where there are weather and critical time restraints at play, clear communication and timing is everything. Now, after using BulkSMS we realise it is one of the, if not the key ingredient to a successful event and would not do an event without it."
Van Vuuren goes on to say that: "Not only does SMS provide a stable form of communication with the competitors, but it also fashions our brand. While we build Signature Surf + Skate into a leading brand, using reliable communication provided by BulkSMS.com is key to upholding the professional standard of our brand."
"It is great to see SMS being used by Signature Surf + Skate to communicate time-sensitive information with the race entrants. With so much weighing on clear communication and timing; SMS has proved to be an important player in the success of the Signature Surf + Skate events to date. We look forward to seeing how else SMS will be utilised by this unique lifestyle brand in future," says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com.