Nike, South African Football Announce Five-Year Kit Sponsorship Deal
Nike and the South African FA announced a new five-year kit partnership deal for the men's and women's national teams beginning Feb. 1. Nike will provide a limited-edition kit for Bafana Bafana -- the men's senior national team -- for its int'l friendly against Brazil in Johannesburg on March 5, and all senior national teams competing until December. The '15-16 kit will be unveiled in November, with an assortment of supporter-wear being available early next January (SAFA). The AP reported "neither party disclosed any financial details." Nike also has deals with the national football federations of Brazil, England, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Portugal and the U.S. Puma ended its agreement with SAFA last year "over allegations of match-fixing" in the country's pre-World Cup friendlies in '10, citing "inappropriate responses from within the (South African) football organization" to the allegations. FIFA asked South Africa to investigate the allegations in late '12 "but little has been done, even after the South African government promised an inquiry." SAFA President Danny Jordaan said that the Nike deal "was part of the process of rebuilding South Africa's battered football reputation with the team also severely criticized at home for poor recent performances." South Africa's sports minister said last week the team was "a bunch of losers" (AP, 1/28). ALL AFRICA reported Nike "will provide technical support for teams at all levels," a move that Jordaan "enthusiastically welcomed." Jordaan: "This is a significant time for South African football as we embark on a long-term program of strengthening our structures, especially at grassroots level" (ALL AFRICA, 1/28).