CSA scandal tarnishes Proteas
Gerald Majola (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - While the Proteas have secured their branding for the next four years, other sponsors are reluctant to sign on the dotted line before the internal wranglings at Cricket South Africa (CSA) have been resolved.
"It’s an open secret that a number of new deals will only be announced once the bonus matters have been cleared up," said Richard Glover, CSA’s commercial head, in Johannesburg on Friday.
South African Breweries announced they had extended their Proteas team sponsorship to include the ODI’s as well as the Tests.
Glover said the Castle Lager naming rights applied to the team, their playing and practice kits but not to the event titles or trophies.
"It’s a challenge for all sports in the current economic climate to secure deals but our early exit from the World Cup didn’t help and having the bonuses openly debated in the press has made it worse," he said.
CSA have been embroiled in a bonus scandal since the hosting of the 2009 Indian Premier League and ICC Champions League.
Accountancy firm KPMG were enlisted in May this year to conduct a forensic audit on the financial affairs of the federation and the report was delivered to the board at the end of July.
Olympic body Sascoc and legal advisors were called in to assist CSA on how to proceed further after the report stated there had been a possible breach of company policy by its CEO Gerald Majola.
It is anticipated that the Annual General Meeting, to be held in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, will finally put the matter to rest.
Glover was optimistic and said there were many corporate companies waiting in the wings.
"It’s heartening to know that a lot of brands are still keen to get involved," Glover said.
"Cricket has a massive appeal for sponsors because it has the most diverse audience, in age, race and gender.
"We also have, not some of the best, but the best cricketers in the world here in South Africa."
Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn topped the Test batting and bowling averages respectively, while Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers ranked the world number one and two batsmen in ODI’s.
The team's partnership with the international brewers would not, however, extend to 20-over cricket.
"Twenty/20 is a stand-alone product and will be branded differently," said Glover.
"We’re entering a period where you will see a lot of new brands entering cricket sponsorships.
"It’s been a massive challenge for us but while there are a lot of negatives in cricket right now, we also have a lot to be positive about."
CSA have been unable to announce the domestic fixtures for the 2011/2012 season while the brandings of the different formats are still uncertain.
"There’s been a lot of debate about whether to publish the fixture lists or not, but we’re hoping everything will be cleared up after the meeting over the weekend," Glover said, referring to CSA’s Annual General Meeting.