The official announcement of a new PSL sponsorship will be made probably before the start of the new season following long serving sponsor – ABSA’s exit from the biggest professional league in the country. Although no official confirmation yet about the identity or name of the new sponsorship for the PSL, a number of big name local and overseas potential names have been spoken about in the corridors as possible sponsors.
“Well, from where I am seating a number of names have been thrown around as new sponsors – one a broadcast company and other companies in different sectors,” said SABC contributing soccer analyst Velile Mnyandu on Sunday, 7 June during a studio interaction at the broadcaster’s Auckland Studio Andile
Other possible headline sponsors ready to jostle for a slice of the PSL include banking giants Standard Bank and overseas betting firms Betway and SportPesa. Betway, the overseas company that is backing a number of teams in the English Premier League (EPL) like West Ham, is rumoured to be interested in getting to the local soccer market because of the popularity of the sport in the country. The PSL is ranked among the top 10 well marketed leagues globally.
For banking institution Standard Bank it would possibly be second time lucky. Before ABSA clinched the PSL deal 16 years ago, Standard Bank had been in the forefront of being announced as the new backers of the league before ABSA staged the last minute coup.
“Remember what happened back then? When Standard Bank went about putting adverts all over the place purporting to be the new headline sponsors of the league, ABSA came from nowhere and clinched the deal,” said Mnyandu.
On Friday, 5 June ABSA formally announced their official exit from the local soccer league following the 2008 marriage that has seen the two partners enjoy many happy good years together.
Daniel Mminele, CEO of ABSA Group, said that although the banking firm ending its relationship with the PSL it was looking at other ways through which they could still work within the league.
“While we will no longer be the anchor sponsor for the PSL, soccer will always remain close to lit hearts. We are therefore exploring alternative options to continue our relationship with the PSL,” Mminele said in a recent interview with the influential Sunday Times.
Meanwhile there was uncertainty surrounding the future of Bidvest F.C following reports that the Gauteng-based outfit would be sold to a Limpopo-based businessman and would relocate to Venda. Within days of the rumoured sale a number of Wits senior players – among them seasoned campaigners like Thulani Hlatswayo, S’fiso Hlanti, Elias Pelembe, Thabang Monare and Deon Hotto were linked to a number of teams with SuperSport United being after the services of Monare. Sundowns are believed to be interested not only in the services of Orlando Pirates target Hlatswayo but also in signing his fellow colleagues Hotto and Mkhwanazi.