It’s devastating to lose your job. The feeling of not being, wanted or not being of value after faithfully serving an organization is difficult to comprehend or understand. These were some of the thoughts and feelings expressed by 165 Kg (360 lb.), 1.98 m (6 ft. 6 in) Patrick Kabongo at the Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce Business Luncheon on February 25th, 2013.
Kabongo had proudly and successfully served the Edmonton Eskimos for eight productive years. He was on a holiday when he received an email from the Edmonton Eskimo organization. Eric Tillman who was the General Manager (at the time and later fired) was advising him they no longer required his services. It’s easy to understand Kabongo’s surprise. He had been named the Eskimos Most Outstanding Player in 2009, most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2009, CFPL Pro Player All Star Team in 2007/08. He had played in all 18 games for the Eskimos (all starts) and was named to the 2010 CFL Player’s Association all-star squad. In 2011 he played 18 games (12 starts) at right guard. He also started the Western Semi-Final and Western Final. And there he was, without a job.
Kabongo found himself facing two choices when he was released and was contemplating, “What do I do? I can get down on football or I can sell myself to another team.” On June 4th, 2012 he came to a contract agreement and signed with the BC Lions.
Kabongo shares his eCommerce knowledge with businesses in Wetaskiwin
“You have to market yourself to the sport. Only 4% of college athletes become pros. The other 96% use a scholarship to get a degree to get into the career they want to get into. Sports teach you how to be structured and to be committed to hard work and how to market yourself. They (athletes) all go online. We market ourselves on the web; on twitter, Facebook, YouTube, on the web for people to follow us (and increase their value to the owners).” Athletes also market themselves to corporations to acquire sponsorships as that is where the big money is. “It’s amazing how technology has changed what we do to market ourslves.”
Kabongo has successfully matched his skills with his use of social media to brand and market himself, not only in sports but in other business endeavors. “Businesses must think of different ways they can promote and market themselves. You need to change the thinking of the consumer to have them buy local. How does the 24/7, 365 day website help improve your business. How does it bring money?” Kabongo left the audience with the thought, “It’s a new generation and business owners have think of different ways. Think outside the box of how they market themselves and their business”.
Alan Greene announces the Wetaskiwin Trade Show is changing
The fifth annual Agriculture Trade Show will be held April 12 & 13th. Although the 2012 show was a huge success, organizers have made changes to make this year’s show more visitor friendly and to allow for more booths. “With the City taking the ice out earlier this year, we are able to move our main Trade Show Booths into Arena 1. We will then be having the Agriculture Hall in the Drill Hall, which with its large bay doors will allow large equipment to be brought in doors. You will now be able to get between the halls without going outside and with no hockey tournament happening in the arenas, there will be increased parking available.”
Increased booth space has enabled the Chamber to expand the number of vendors. The cost for booths within main area have stayed the same. Standard booths are 10’x10’ and cost for Chamber Member (includes ¼ page ad) is $375.00 and non-members (includes ¼ page ad) $450.00 Early Bird Discount if registered and paid before March 10, 2013 – $50.00
Standard booths in the Agricultural Hall are 10’x20’ and the cost to Chamber members is $500 and non-Chamber vendors, $575. There is an early bird discount of $50.