Betway rescues CSA with three-year sponsorship deal

By Hayley Grammer

Cricket South Africa (CSA) will live to see another match thanks to Betway signing-on as lead sponsor of its Test and One Day International (ODI) series.

The three-year sponsorship arrangement, in which Betway replaces Standard Bank as leading sponsor, comes despite global sports disruptions due to COVID-19, with CSA providing no indication of when its national team schedule will return to action.

Betway first dipped into South African cricket by sponsoring the inaugural Mzansi Super League competition in 2018 and renewed its deal the following year.

“It's a continuation of our partnership with CSA and something that's been on our radar for quite some time,” said Betway marketing manager David Rachidi.

“The betting industry felt the pinch because a huge part of our content sits within live sport taking place, so we've had to tweak our business to look at alternative platforms and markets we can put forward to consumers. But with the slow return of sport every week, that’s been a plus for us.”

Rachidi added that the company was not dissuaded from pursuing its partnership with CSA despite certain PR issues that have taken place.

Standard Bank broke off its contract with CSA in April following the suspension of CSA CEO Thabang Moroe on charges of corruption. The bank’s exit left CSA with a deficit estimated to be R100 million per year over four years, which the current executive is scrambling to fill amid tough economic conditions and shrinking marketing budgets.

During a parliamentary briefing with its sports portfolio committee, acting CSA CEO Jacques Faul said the signing of a new sponsor, Proteas' upcoming performances and projected profits between R50 million and R80 million for the 2019/20 financial year should aid the shattered public image cricket suffered since December.

"Sponsorship has been put on pause all over the world,” said Faul. “There’s not a lot of people that do sponsorship deals at this time and there’s a low level of predictability. The fact that we have signed an international sponsor for a substantial amount will help us."

Betway CEO Anthony Werkman also commented on the new partnership arrangement, stating that the company is thrilled to be working alongside CSA.

“We already have a wide-ranging sporting portfolio and this showcases our commitment to cricket. The South African team are due back in action at the end of the year and we’re excited to see how the team perform across all codes of the game,” Werkman said.


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