Springboks fly with SAA
Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) has won the right to be the Springbok's official carrier for three years from 2008, it was announced on Thursday.
The sponsorship deal includes all SA Rugby's structures, not limited to the world champions. SAA said in a statement that it's sponsorship will contribute towards the development of rugby at "every level of the game, including rural development, schools, clubs, provincial and national teams".
Says SAA CE Khaya Ngqula: "The need to nurture interest in the game and to develop new players has been identified within the rugby community as well as by the public."
He said his organisation wants to build on the work already done in this regard and "contribute further towards securing SA rugby's prosperous future".
The Springbok sponsorship deal adds to five similar ones under SAA's belt.
"SAA is committed to South Africa's national sports and has streamlined its previously bloated sponsorship portfolio to include only five major properties," said the airline. SAA said this would ensure that unwavering focus is placed on each property and that SAA and sport receive maximum benefit from the partnerships.
Ngqula said early this month that the airline had cancelled 32 sponsorship deals to remain with only five as part of its restructuring process. Among the five remaining ones were the official carrier of the national soccer team, the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City and the national cricket team.
"It is the revenue associated with rugby supporters that we are eyeing," Ngqula said then.
"The sponsorship deal with SA Rugby will help generate revenue for SAA as we make games conveniently accessible to ardent fans."
Through SAA's "Follow Your Team" concept, sport fans benefit through preferential travel benefits that include match ticket allocations.