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Rugby on the hunt for new sponsor

Tue, 13 December 2016 14:56
by Michael Uugwanga
Sports

The commercial agent of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Sybrand de Beer says the hunt for a potential headline sponsor for the Namibia Rugby Premier League (NRPL) is ongoing. 

MTC were the last sponsor of the NRPL in 2012 after it injected about N$28 million before it opted to end with the sponsorship agreement.

Since 2012 the union has been struggling to get a sponsor for the league that has been getting about N$1.7 million as part of the MTC sponsorship deal.

So far only three rugby clubs have stable sponsors namely, Trustco United, who are sponsored by Trustco Holding Group (TGH), and Wanderers, Western Suburbs and University of Namibia (UNAM), who are all sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) Namibia.

The NRU on the other hand has two sponsors, namely Windhoek Draught and FNB Namibia, which are the two main sponsors for the country’s men national team, the Welwitschias, after the two decided not to partner with the NRPL for various reasons.

Windhoek Draught said they do not want to sponsor the league because of their disclaimer sign of alcohol not sold to people under the age of 18 years, while FNB Namibia said they do not have enough funds to sponsor the league. 

 In June this year, de Beer was confident that the union will get a sponsor before the end of this year but till today there are no signs that the league will have a financial backer come next year when the new rugby season starts.

“We have approached numerous companies but we are busy with one potential suitor who is likely to sponsor. Most companies in the country are in the middle of their financial year, which could also make it difficult for any company to come on board. It is not that the union is not looking for a sponsor but we all know that most companies are in the middle of their financial year. But next year we will have a sponsor for the league,” De Beer was quoted in June, 2016.

When approached by The Villager Sport, de Beer said that the union is still working very hard in finding a sponsor but could not tell the timeframe when asked.

 “We have not yet found a sponsor at this stage. We are still busy looking. Hopefully next year,” said de Beer.

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Namibia is ranked number two in Africa behind South Africa and also ranked 20th in the world by the International Rugby Board (IRB), while the Welwitschias has participated at five consecutive world cups including last year’s show piece held in England.