Steinhoff pulls plug on Varsity Cup sponsorship

10 January 2018 - 16:26 By Craig Ray
South African players during the match between South Africa and Russia on day 1 of the 2017 HSBC Cape Town Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on December 09, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
South African players during the match between South Africa and Russia on day 1 of the 2017 HSBC Cape Town Sevens at Cape Town Stadium on December 09, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Dereck Green/Gallo Images

Beleaguered global retailer Steinhoff International has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of the Varsity Cup rugby tournament following the collapse of its share price late last year.

Steinhoff reported ‘accounting irregularities’ last month‚ which resulted in its market value collapsing by approximately 85%‚ or R187-billion.

Its chief executive Marcus Jooste resigned.

The company sponsored Varsity Cup and is also the headline sponsor of the SA Sevens team‚ the Blitzboks.

Varsity Cup chief executive Duitser Bosman confirmed Steinhoff’s decision on Wednesday.

“Varsity Cup management can confirm that Steinhoff International has withdrawn as a second tier sponsor of the annual FNB Varsity Cup tournament‚” Bosman said.

“Subsequently‚ we have begun a process of exploring alternative sponsorship opportunities to sustain the spotlight on talent development.

“We would like to assure spectators that preparations for the 2018 tournament are at an advanced stage and we are working with all our partners to ensure the success of this year’s competition‚ which kicks off on Monday‚ 29 January.

“The 11th edition of SA’s premier inter-varsity rugby competition features 16 of SA’s best university teams in a challenge for top honours on the rugby field.

“All four competitions in the FNB Varsity Cup tournament will continue as planned‚ including FNB Varsity Cup‚ FNB Varsity Shield‚ FNB Young Guns and FNB Koshuis Rugby.”

SA Rugby have yet to confirm whether Steinhoff had cut its sponsorship of the Blitzboks as their offices are still closed until next Monday.


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