Communication giant Telkom tipped to take over as PSL sponsor

Mamelodi Sundowns are the current champions of the Absa Premiership. The banking giant yesterday announced they won't be the league's title sponsor beyond the current season. / Steve Haag/Gallo Images
Mamelodi Sundowns are the current champions of the Absa Premiership. The banking giant yesterday announced they won't be the league's title sponsor beyond the current season. / Steve Haag/Gallo Images

With the Premier Soccer League (PSL) confirming yesterday that banking giants Absa will be exiting as top-flight title sponsor at the end of the current season, Sowetan has learnt that telecommunications provider Telkom could replace Absa.

Telkom and the PSL already have a running correlation as the mobile operator is the prime sponsor of one of the domestic cup competitions in Telkom Knockout (TKO), since 2006.

"The PSL has been engaging with Telkom to convince them to be title sponsors. However, Telkom has asked to be given enough time to consider this," a source close to the situation told Sowetan yesterday.

However, Telkom's communication group executive, Mooketsi Mocumi, dismissed the rumour they'd been in negotiations with the league, with an idea of taking over from Absa.

"Telkom can confirm that it is not in negotiations with the PSL to sponsor the league," said Mocumi, without elaborating yesterday.

The information also didn't rule out the possibility of Absa and Telkom swapping status as the title and cup competition sponsors respectively.

"Telkom can't continue to sponsor the TKO if they come on board as the title sponsor, so it can happen that they exchange commitments with Absa because Absa made it clear they'll still be part of our football," the source added.

Quizzed if there was a chance of them switching to be one of the cup competitions' sponsors, Absa sponsorship general manager Mtunzi Jonas gave a terse response.

"I don't know where that emerged from, I can't comment on that but like I said, we are in communication with the league and we value football," said Jonas.

"Football has done a lot for Absa brand and for us, if there is an opportunity, we will certainly talk to the PSL.

"But in saying that, I cannot confirm that we are looking at different things."

Since taking over as the title sponsor from Castle Lager in 2007, the banking giants have pumped in around R1.5bn into PSL coffers.

Absa had been pumping over R100m into the Premier Soccer League per year since signing an initial R500m sponsorship deal in 2007.

The deal was renewed again in August 2013 and 2017. Last year, the bank paid the PSL R138m.

"The key point for me is that we had a productive key relationship," added Jonas.

"The reality is that all good things come to an end.

"You understand what's going on economically, so Absa took a decision not to renew the sponsorship."

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