In 2009, after the recent terrorist strikes on the Sri Lankan national cricket team, the Indian Premier League made the decision to relocate the tournament to South Africa. The marketing team, led by Francois Pienaar and his colleague Etienne de Villiers, were tasked to put on the event with only three weeks notice. With sold-out grounds and an infectious buzz, the event proceeded with outstanding success. The IPL was hailed as an extraordinary accomplishment that globalised cricket and set record-breaking TV viewership around the world.
Following the marketing success of the IPL, Francois Pienaar took his expertise and created Advent Sport Entertainment and Media (ASEM) to follow his passion for the sports and entertainment industry. ASEM identified the need for a unified structure at the university level and successfully secured the exclusive opportunity to commercialise the media rights to university sport in South Africa.