A big day in South African sporting history. Standard Bank is ending their sponsorship of Cricket South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirate. Huge opportunity for others, but a day in which I’m sure, many will be very sad.

From their Blog:

We’ve taken the difficult decision to end some key sport sponsorships in South Africa when these contracts expire.

This means that our sponsorship agreements with Cricket South Africa (CSA), and the South African soccer teams Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will end in May 2011.

Standard Bank Group has had a 13-year sponsorship agreement with CSA and 10-year partnerships with Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

These relationships have benefitted the sport, the fans and Standard Bank Group. However, we’ve taken the decision, based on our changing business priorities and goal to further improve business efficiencies across Standard Bank Group.

This was a difficult decision because of the significant investments we have made over the years in both soccer and cricket. But, we believe that this is a responsible, necessary and prudent decision to ensure that we support our business needs in the best possible way.

Standard Bank Group’s current contracts with CSA, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will run for another six months. Standard Bank will ensure all properties receive full sponsorship and activation support until expiry in May 2011.

We will remain active in key jazz and arts projects because of the important role they play in our South Africa’s heritage.

The history of these sponsorships
We have been the official banking partner to Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates since 2001.

Our involvement in cricket since 1997 has been focussed mainly on limited overs:

• Sole sponsorship of the national South Africa ODI and Pro20 teams
• International Pro20s matches played in South Africa
• The Standard Bank Pro20 domestic series
• The Standard Bank Schools Pro20 Challenge
• Standard Bank High Performance Cricket – which includes the Standard Bank National Cricket Academy and High Performance Programme
• Standard Bank Schools Development Programme
• Standard Bank Under 13 National Cricket Week

Partnerships with the International Cricket Council (ICC) included:
• Local Partner to the ICC Cricket World Cups held in South Africa in 2003 and the West Indies in 2007;
• Local Partner ICC World Twenty20s held in South Africa in 2007 and England in 2009.
Local Partner of the ICC Champions Trophy held in South Africa in 2009.

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