The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced a new five-year sponsorship deal with OUTsurance worth R50 million, the soccer body announced at SAFA House on Tuesday.
OUTsurance announced the new match official’s sponsorship with SAFA, making it the first ever football match official sponsorship in South Africa.
This unique partnership will afford the brand unprecedented visibility on the football field through the match official’s kit which will be worn at all Absa Premiership, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SAB League, SASOL Women’s League and all cup matches, a statement said.
This particular backing to SAFA will focus on a range of factors which will improve the standard of football in the country. This includes grassroots development of underprivileged match officials to promote employment in the sector.
The partnership with SAFA will also facilitate the skills training development of the referees to ensure sound judgement on the field of play, furthermore, OUTsurance and SAFA will ensure fair remuneration packages for the match officials.
The partnership will also seek to promote female match officials. To further establish a global footprint, by exposing South African match officials to other football communities, the partnership will train refs so that they can officiate at international matches.
Speaking at the launch held at SAFA House, OUTsurance said: “We are delighted to partner with SAFA on this first of its kind football sponsorship which we are certain will advance the standard of our football. Match officials are the focal point of what happens on the football pitch and we believe that if we can up-skill our match officials, we can definitely improve our football.”
The football partnership follows OUTsurance’s existing sponsorship of match officials with the South African Rugby Union (SA Rugby), the Gun Run for charity and the much-loved Points-men who aid in traffic control around Johannesburg and Tshwane.
This sponsorship will see referees being trained and educated to ensure safe and fair play.
“As the South African Football Association, we are excited to partner with a corporation that has already achieved so much with their existing sponsorships, moreover their solid support of the national rugby team has demonstrated to us their commitment to making a difference,”,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble.
“Our motivation to partner with OUTsurance was that their objectives for the sponsorship aligned with those we have set-out for Vison 2022. Key to the success of Vision 2022 is the progress and inclusion of women in football which this sponsorship will assist in achieving.”
The official kit which will be worn by match officials was exhibited by some of the country’s top referees and will debut this weekend.