Now spar dumps hockey federation

THE dumping of sports federations by corporate sponsors is becoming a cause for concern .

THE dumping of sports federations by corporate sponsors is becoming a cause for concern .

The latest victim is the South African Hockey Association (Saha), who were shown the door by chain food store Spar, sponsors of many of their activities. The move comes a week after Athletics South Africa lost a massive sponsorship deal from banking giant Nedbank.

Spar group marketing executive Roelf Venter. said: "We have enjoyed our relationship with hockey, women's hockey in particular, over the past 15 years.

"However, we have decided that as a food company, we should become involved in a programme of hunger relief, particularly in the rural areas where the need is so great in these difficult economic times.

"We will be announcing details of this programme next month," Venter said at a joint press conferencewith Saha.

Saha president Dave Carr said South African hockey was sad to bid farewell to such a loyal and long-serving friend and sponsor.

"We nevertheless wish to extend to Spar our most sincere gratitude for the immense contribution they have made to women's hockey since 1995."

Meanwhile, Yellow Pages announced that negotiations with ASA for a new sponsorship deal for the Yellow Pages track and field series were continuing.

An announcement is expected next week.

Responding to these developments, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said they were concerned by the sponsorship withdrawals .

Sascoc president Gideon Sam, said: "We have noted with concern the decision of Nedbank to withdraw its sponsorship with ASA and I want to say how important a sponsor is.

"We understand how corporates work and we continuously encourage our federations to work in a positive and healthy manner with sponsors."