The Springbok Sevens team completed a memorable few days with the announcement on Tuesday that Steinhoff International – the integrated retailer with operations in Africa, Europe and Australasia – had agreed a three-year partnership to sponsor the national team.
The Blitzboks – who were named SA’s Sports Team of the Year last month and crowned champions of the South African leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series for a third successive time on Sunday – will wear the name of the Frankfurt and Johannesburg-listed company for the first time at the Wellington Sevens in New Zealand at the end of January.
Steinhoff’s sponsorship of sevens rugby will also extend to the Springbok Women’s team and the SA Academy men’s team.
“This is terrific news for sevens rugby in South Africa and we’re delighted to welcome Steinhoff International into the South African Rugby Union family,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.
“In the past the sevens’ team sponsorship had been ‘bundled’ in with that of the 15-a-side team but the game has developed in recent years and the Springbok Sevens team and Sevens brand have now matured to the point where it merited a separate focus.
“From personal experience with the Varsity Cup I know how effectively Steinhoff International work at leveraging their sponsorships and I am sure the sevens team, our Women Springboks and Sevens Academy will feel the benefit of Steinhoff’s involvement.
“It’s a tribute to the power of the Springbok Sevens brand that we have attracted the attention of such a major international player as Steinhoff. The profile of sevens rugby has increased significantly in recent years and its inclusion in the Olympic Games is set to enhance that. This is a further very exciting development for Sevens rugby.”
Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff International, commented: “The Springbok sevens team is a natural progression for Steinhoff in associating ourselves with this fast-paced sport, enthusiastic fans, and leading team into the global arena, where most of our businesses are also based.
“The attention that the sport and event creates in cities such as Paris, Hong Kong, London, Sydney and Cape Town will enhance our corporate brand in these important retail markets for Steinhoff.
“We also want to congratulate the team for a brilliant performance during the last weekend, we will be a proud sponsor of such a passionate and committed team. The team is a young, exciting tribute to where rugby and South Africa is headed and we’re looking forward to this new partnership.”
The new sponsorship will be formally launched in the New Year.