Former General Manager of Communications at the South African Rugby Union, Anthony Mackaiser speaks about his career as a qualified journalist in the sports industry and the journey which led him to an incredible opportunity in 1997 to work at SARU. Anthony went on to manage the strategic communications and media for the Springboks and mentions the infectious environment he experienced filled with thrills, but also back stabbing. Anthony explains that even though he was not an actual player for the Springboks, he still felt the emotions the players did after winning or losing a test.
Being the South African national Rugby team’s media liaison, Anthony was privy to some private information within the union and on occasion when it was leaked to the media, it made his job difficult and this he says was one of the frustrations that came with his role. Anthony reflects on how he went from working with SARU and the Springboks, to becoming Communications and Marketing Manager at SANZAR. His time however at the organisation lasted just a year and was forced to move away for personal reasons. He admits that leaving SANZAR is a big regret he still holds and discusses how since then, sport disappeared from him life altogether and that for six months he was unemployed.
Anthony however has accepted his new career in the field of education, as he is Manager of Corporate Events and Protocol at Curtin University in Perth. Sport to a small degree returned to Anthony’s life in 2017 when he took up the position of Marketing and Sales Consultant at the HeadSmart Sports Concussion Programme. Anthony says the biggest lessons he has learnt from his own transition away from top Rugby organisations is the necessity of having an entrepreneurial spirit and growing networks to make life after Rugby easier to cope with. However, Anthony has not given up on returning to Rugby and indicates that he would relish working at Super Rugby franchise, the Brumbies in the future.