By SYDNEY MORWENG
After months of speculations the cat is finally out the bag: Absa is the new sponsor of the rugby’s defending world champions, the Springboks.
The announcement was made today at the swanky Moyo’s Restaurant, Parktown.
Having had a good and beneficial relationship with the previous sponsor, the Bokke have been blowing hot and cold, and according to those close to the talks this new sponsorship will steer the team to greater heights as they prepare to defend the Webb Ellis Cup in New Zealand later this year.
No strangers to rugby portfolio by virtue of backing Absa Currie Cup and Absa Premiership, after nine years as associate sponsor, Absa has taken over as the new official rugby team in a five-year deal, which also includes the high-flying Springbok Sevens team.
Although no figures were released on how much is the value of the contract, one thing for certain is, they’ve outdone the previous sponsor by far.
Pressed to comment Ajith Bridgraj, Head Absa Group Media remained mum and said the clause of the contract, does warrant to publicly stipulate the value of the contract.
“Absa is already the national sponsor of Bafana Bafana and the Springbok sponsorship now sees two of the top national team sponsorships firmly within the Absa portfolio.
In essence, this solidifies Absa’s strategy of sponsoring the leading teams and competitions in two of the top sporting codes in the country,” said Absa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos.
“As a leading financial services brand, we view our sponsorships as powerful vehicles that enable us to communicate and connect with consumers from all walks of life.” says Ramos.
“Sponsorships are a cornerstone of our marketing investment and our brand is one of our most cherished and important corporate assets.”
The optimist Oregan Hoskins, the President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU), says that it is a great pleasure to confirm one of rugby’s longest standing friends as SARU’s new Springbok sponsor.
“In many ways this announcement completes the circle. For the past 25 years Absa – through their various incarnations – have supported the Currie Cup and shown a commitment and passion for the sport that has few rivals for a sponsor in any South African sports code.
“So it feels only right that we should now be carrying the name of such a respected and well-known South African brand on the playing jersey of our proud Springboks. We all look forward to an exciting and mutually beneficial first five years – we are, I would say, a perfect fit,” states Hoskins.
“As we count down towards the start of the Rugby World Cup in October this year, be assured that Absa, together with all South Africans, will be behind our team,” says Ramos.
Springbok Sevens team will be the first to run out on the field in Wellington in their new Absa branded jerseys.