Saru extends huge marketing deal

THE South African Rugby Union (Saru) and marketing group, Megapro, have announced the renewal of their commercial contract for another five years.

THE South African Rugby Union (Saru) and marketing group, Megapro, have announced the renewal of their commercial contract for another five years.

Though both parties were reluctant to put a figure on the deal, it will no doubt run into millions of rands.

Part of the deal involves securing sponsorships for the Springbok team as well as sponsors for tournaments such as the Absa Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup rugby competitions.

With the Super 14 expanding to 15 teams next year, the rugby World Cup taking place in New Zealand and Sevens rugby now an Olympic sport, it is going to be a busy time for all concerned.

"The next five years are going to be exciting times for South African rugby," Saru president Oregan Hoskins said in Sandton, Johannesburg, at the launch.

"There are many developments taking place in rugby and encouraging the game at grassroots level is important to us at Saru.

"I have no doubt the deal signed today will benefit rugby."

With soccer dominating the local sporting front and the World Cup only 56 days away - coupled with the recession - sponsorship for the sport has been tight but Kuben Pillay, chief executive of Primedia, the majority shareholders in Megapro, believes there will be a correction in the market next year.

"People have had to commit to soccer because it is such a major event, but with rugby now part of the Olympic Games, exposure to the sport will run into billions of people," he later told Sowetan.

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