Western Province club rugby has received a welcome shot in the arm, with the announcement of African Bank as its new sponsor.
The sponsorship kicks in with immediate effect, with a particular focus on the semi-finals and the finals of the club competition.
African Bank will also sponsor the WP Club Sevens tournament starting soon.
The league finals take places on 24 September at Newlands.
“Rugby is huge in the Western Cape region and in Western Province,” said Kaibe Mollo, Head of Marketing for African Bank. “So, we thought it would be important to at least try to do something in the rugby space and see what we can do as a way to get closer to the communities, closer to the clubs, closer to individuals. A lot of them have some relationship with African Bank. Maybe they know it, maybe they have some of our product range, but they haven’t had a full African Bank experience, let alone have full knowledge of the new African Bank and all the other things we have on offer.”
Danny Jones, Club Rugby Manager of WP, complimented African Bank on the positive attitude they displayed, right from the start of the negotiations.
“They were comfortable with WP and club rugby,” he said. “To African Bank, we want to say that WP club rugby is the backbone and bedrock of rugby in Cape Town and surrounds. On a Saturday our communities flock to the rugby field. Their heroes – yes there are Siya Kolisi and Dillon Lleyds – are closer to home, living in the roads of Macassar, the streets of Ruyterwacht, the houses of the Southern Suburbs and Bonteheuwel. Those players are our communities’ heroes on a Saturday. When club rugby is played the supporters do support and they do come. Last year, because of the drought, the season only started in June and for three months the community felt the absence of club rugby.”
Zelt Marais, President of the WP Rugby Union, said he was overjoyed and proud that at last there was a bank and a real African Bank that believed in Western Province, adding that they can make this an ‘African dream’.
“I think we have all the ingredients to make it happen. I am sure we are going to walk a long road and a very viable one for African Bank,” he said.