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Jewish-owned 'Achievers support Springboks

  • jACK
Bidvest and Blue Label Telecoms jumped in and lent their support to the Springboks after Absa pulled its sponsorship - or there may not have been an inbound tour right now. This is probably the first time ever that two predominantly Jewish-owned companies are involved in sponsoring the Springbok rugby team. All three majority owners are past winners of Jewish Report's Absa Jewish Achiever business awards.
by JACK MILNER | Jun 15, 2016

Bidvest and Blue Label Telecoms have both lent their support to the Springboks for the current inbound three-Test series against Ireland. The SA Rugby Union found itself in a sponsorship vacuum when Absa, a long-time supporter of SA rugby, pulled out rather suddenly.

BMW followed shortly afterwards and there was a fear South Africa would go into this year’s international season without a sponsor.

Bidvest and Blue Label have stepped into the void - for the moment at least. Both have come forward with sponsorships for the Ireland tour, but whether it will extend beyond this is uncertain.

The deal between Bidvest and SA Rugby has seen their logo feature on the Springboks’ shorts for the Ireland series, as well as a logo placement on the field for the Tests.

Lindsay Ralphs, CEO of Bidvest, said the new partnership with SA Rugby showed their commitment to South Africa and one of the country’s biggest international brands. “The Springboks are a byword for South Africa in the world and we’re proud to be associated with them,” said Ralphs.

“This series is the start of a new era for Springbok rugby and we are excited to be a part of this prestigious event. Our association with the Springboks is a perfect fit for our brand and what we stand for.”

The turnaround was complete when the Blue Label Telecoms signed on. The telecommunications and technology company will partner the Boks for the Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Blue Label Telecoms’ name and branding appear on the Springboks’ jersey for the series as well as in a number of on-and-off-field areas.

“Our rugby team is a national treasure, and we're delighted to be associated with the Bokke ‘gees’ during the team’s debut. It's fantastic to experience this period of reinvention and renewal,” said Joint CEO Brett Levy.

Mark Levy, the other joint CEO added: “SA Rugby has a vision for the team, from coach through to captain and management - the stage is set to show the world the Bokke’s determination and prowess.

“We share their confidence in South Africa and their commitment to excellence - the Bokke are a perfect fit with the Blue Label Telecoms brand.”

"We are delighted to welcome Blue Label Telecoms to the rugby family," said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. "They are one of South Africa’s most innovative and visionary companies, and the way they have embraced this opportunity is testimony to that.

"These are tough financial times for South Africa, and we at SA Rugby have to be creative in how we approach our commercial partnerships," Roux said. "Blue Label Telecoms’ partnership for a Test series - rather than for a number of years - is a model that we are increasingly considering.

"It offers our partners good value, while also allowing us to introduce new names into our family, with a view to longer-term relationships," he said.

Blue Label Telecoms has announced that its Indian associate, Oxigen, will be the brand behind the Proteas for all T20 cricket matches in the upcoming season.

The Oxigen Proteas will feature in 12 T20 matches against Bangladesh, New Zealand, India, England and Australia before next year’s ICC World Twenty 20 Championships in India.

Mark Levy comments: “We enjoy a long-standing relationship with Cricket South Africa, spanning many years, through our sponsorship of the Proteas. Oxigen is a brand born and bred in India and we expect that Oxigen’s sponsorship of the Proteas T20 team will resonate closely with the Indian community, considering the massive impact the brand has in the country.”

 

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