By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
FRIDAY, June 24 marked a significant day for South African soccer supporters, as the senior men’s national team retains its name, Bafana Bafana, a name that resonates with fans both locally and internationally.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) and Stanton Woodrush are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement to transfer the class 25 trade mark rights in Bafana Bafana to SAFA for the sum of five million rand (R5 million) payable over a year.
SLAM was the joint venture company and the vehicle which was used by SAFA and Stanton Woodrush to commercialize the Bafana Bafana rights since the 26th of August 2005. The parties further agreed that SLAM will effect a name change.
Subsequently Stanton Woodrush will have no interest in the Bafana Bafana name or any trademark rights associated with the name. SAFA will be the sole beneficial owner of the Bafana Bafana brand and will commercialize these rights for its own benefit.
SAFA is very pleased that the South African football team will continue to be known as Bafana Bafana. The Bafana Bafana name is a national asset and is well known by all soccer supporters and is the catalyst of national pride.
SAFA would like to thank Stanton Woodrush for the spirit of good faith in which it engaged with SAFA throughout the negotiations for the class 25 rights, and the many compromises made by both parties to ensure that the Bafana Bafana name is retained as a national asset for the team and South African supporters.
“We feel very happy about the acquisition of the Bafana Bafana name which allows us to exploit this great brand for the good of the game. The future now looks very bright as this move has begun to open better opportunities for us to venture into real partnerships with various sponsors.” said SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani.
“We would also like to thank the many voices out there, heard and unheard, who encouraged us to finalise the matter” added Nematandani.
Speaking through his spokesperson, Neil Lazarus, Stanton Woodrush and the Smidt had this to say.
“We recognize that the team and the brand are inextricably linked and that they are indivisible in the sense that they have one identity. The brand without the team and the team without the brand would significantly dilute the goodwill which is entrenched through their association and that were they to be separated, soccer fans throughout the world, particularly our local supporters, would be deprived of a much loved symbol of the unity which South African soccer has brought to our nation,” said Lazarus.
He added that “Stanton Woodrush and the Smidt Family is very pleased that they have been able to make a meaningful contribution to the beautiful game in South Africa and the perpetuation of the Bafana Bafana brand in the hands of the custodians of South African soccer, SAFA.”
SAFA can now look forward to preparing the team and focusing on further commercializing the Bafana Bafana brand name for its own benefit in the forth coming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil™.