Du Toit Botes brings nearly twenty years of sport sales and marketing experience to his new position as marketing executive for Genuine Connection. He joined the Paarl-based sportswear manufacturer earlier this week (September 4th) to help continue the work of the entrepreneurial founder Lionel Gericke.

Gericke sadly passed away in April this year following complications that developed during an operation in the Paarl Medi-Clinic.

The late Lionel Gericke founded Genuine Connection more than 20 years ago.

He founded the Genuine Connection brand and sportswear factory shortly after the 1995 World Cup and within four years his Can Do attitude and aptitude for adopting new manufacturing techniques earned him the title of SACOB Entrepreneur of the Year.

Ten years later Genuine Connection was manufacturing rugby jerseys for just about every Super 14 and Currie Cup rugby team on behalf of team sponsors like adidas and others. They also supplied the kit for football teams like Bafana Bafana and Pirates, as well as kit for all ASA athletes. They also manufactured for clubs, schools and retail under their own G-Factor brand.

When adidas’ contract with WP Rugby comes to an end in October, Genuine Connection will be the new supplier of Province jerseys.

Botes joins the company with a strong rugby heritage and experience of sportswear sales. He is a former Bulls and Griquas scrum half and captain, who started his working career at then Bulls sponsor, Gilbert SA, in 1998. He left the company after twelve years to move to Cape Town and after a restraint of trade period came to an end, he joined Super-Brands in 2012. There he managed the Canterbury rugby brand, amongst others.

When the distributorship of the Super-Brands sport brands was taken over by Brand ID in 2013, Botes moved across as Brand President, Performance Division. Apart from Canterbury, international brands like Columbia, Speedo, Skins and Mizuno also formed part of this division.

Following the Brand ID restructuring earlier this year (see article) Botes became sales manager for the Field Sport (Canterbury and Opro) and Outdoor (Columbia) divisions until he left at the end of August.