Kidnapping fuels patriotism

Posted by News desk on 20 Jun, 2012 / News at a glance

In an effort to drive donations for the charities supported by John Smit’s Barney’s Army*, Y&R has staged the kidnapping of the Sharks mascot, Sharkie and will use his ransom demand as leverage for the donations to the various causes, including The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Fund, Bobbi Bear Foundation and the LIV Village.

John Smit has assembled a worldclass invitational rugby team made up of international stars and household names to take on the Sharks in the Shark Tank on Friday, 22 June 2012.

This charity match will be John’s last game. Our campaign aims to attract support by encouraging the public to attend the game (ticket proceeds will go towards the charities) and donate on the website (

The following fictional news report was sent out to drive public interest:

The Shark’s mascot, Sharkie, last seen at The Mr Price Kings Park stadium, wearing the Shark’s black and white kit, has been kidnapped.

Officials and witnesses say there were four suspicious men spotted at Kings Park stadium on the eve of Sharkie’s disappearance. The return of Sharkie was assured with the delivery of a ransom payment, the message received late last night detailed.

Representatives of the Sharks team convey their sentiments of concern, as Sharkie has always been a big feature at rugby games, “he creates such an atmosphere and is dearly loved by fans – we only hope he’ll be safe and back in time for the game against Barney’s Army.”

Officials have requested the help of civilians in and around Durban, “please keep your ears to the ground and help us raise this ransom by donating, we just want him back.”

Please pledge your help, visit and donate to one of the three charities to build the funds to get Sharkie back safely.

*The John Smit Foundation, affectionately known as “Barney’s Army”, provides the platform for John to use his admirable rugby legacy to do good for others in the future. John’s nickname amongst his close friends is Barney based on a character in The Simpsons, because of their similarities –  large stature, red hair and warm nature!

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