Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) said on Wednesday that it was pursuing legal action to protect its sponsors’ rights in Saturday’s Super Rugby match between the Sharks and Stormers at Kings Park in Durban.
The move comes following the unilateral announcement by a provincial service provider
that it was withholding perimeter advertising space at the venue. Both the Sharks and the Western Province unions, who use the services of a company called Kagiso Vantage, issued a statement expressing their shock at the announcement and disassociating themselves from it.Jurie Roux
, CEO of SARU, said that all fees had been paid in full to date relating to all Super Rugby matches, although there was an outstanding commercial dispute relating to one of 17 matches in 2012, at which Kagiso Vantage had inflated their rates six-fold.
SARU is also in dispute with the company in relation to Currie Cup matches, despite the existence of a signed agreement with the unions. Kagiso Vantage has also claimed advertising income from Test matches at the two venues - events for which no such rights apply.
Roux and other SARU executives were meeting both the Sharks and Western Province unions when Kagiso Vantage issued their statement - an event of which neither union was aware nor had sanctioned.
“I am extremely disappointed by Kagiso Vantage’s approach to what is a purely commercial dispute,” said Roux. “Unfortunately it is typical of their attempts to bully SARU and our sponsors into paying outrageous rates for a market in which they appear to believe their monopoly at those grounds has given them a free hand.”