Sasol will end its lead sponsorship of Springbok rugby at the end of 2010 when the current agreement between the company and SA Rugby expires.
The six-year, R150 million lead sponsor deal with SA Rugby, was signed in November 2004 and includes the national team as well as the Springbok Sevens team, “A” team and the U-20 Springboks.
While protracted negotiations have been undertaken in a constructive manner, the two parties have been unable to confirm mutually agreeable terms, on which to renew the contract.
“We’re very proud of our association with the Springboks and had certainly hoped our significantly increased offer would have found traction with the union”, said Sasol senior group executive, Lean Strauss.
“As a business, we must take current market conditions into account, while at the same time recognising the enormous value this iconic team has brought to our brand. We believe our offer reflected this approach but respect SA Rugby’s decision to consider alternate sponsorship options”, Strauss said.
In the past six years the Springboks have delivered outstanding performances and a number of significant successes. The 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup victory in France, along with the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour success and their Tri-Nations triumph, were wonderful highlights. Sasol’s passion for the Sevens game saw the profile of the Springbok Sevens team greatly elevated and we hope this momentum will be maintained in the future.
“In the course of our association with the Springboks, we have seen the game extend across racial and cultural barriers. It has promoted nation building, united our staff around the world and has strengthened our brand both locally and abroad”, Strauss said.
“This has been a wonderful partnership and, while it’s been a tough few weeks for the Boks, we at Sasol remain their greatest fans and wish them well for the rest of the season and for the successes that lie ahead” he said.
Sasol’s contract with SA Rugby will run for another five months. Sasol will ensure the team receives the company’s full sponsorship support until the agreement concludes at the end of December 2010.