South African Rugby: Sponsorship and Springbok competition update

South African Rugby

South African rugby has received significant sponsorship boosts during the last week. The Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup in 2019 had a lot to do with this and shows that success breeds success.

It has been a busy few weeks for South African rugby. Ryan Jordan considers the impact of the announcements made recently.

South African rugby sponsorship update

The message here is how much South African Breweries (SAB) has invested in South African Rugby.

Carling Currie Cup

Carling Black Label, brewed and distributed locally by SAB, was announced was on Tuesday as the official sponsor of the Currie Cup. This deal gives the competition stability for the next three years after losing their ABSA sponsorship in 2017. There have been a few joint ventures with the likes of Nashua in between, but no title sponsorship.

Carling Currie Cup

Unusually for South African rugby, the tournament will run through the middle of summer due to the lockdown enforced break between March and September. instead, the Carling Currie Cup is scheduled from November 27, 2020 to January 23, 2021.

From a player’s [and fan’s] perspective, heat and humidity will be the order of the day.

Castle Lager Lions tour

To complement SAB’s sponsorship of the Carling Currie Cup, they have also been confirmed as the title sponsor of the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour with their Castle Lager brand. SA Rugby recently released the logo for the tour used as the headline picture for this article, along with a description of its meaning.

The Castle Lager Lions Series logo explained:
  • The four elements at the top of the symbol represent the four home unions that make up the British & Irish Lions, set above a single element to represent South Africa
  • Two elements resolve into a single symbol – a dynamic perspective of a rugby ball
  • The combined colours from the flag of South Africa and the Lions red flow through the elements as a symbol of unity. Negative space between the four top elements forms an abstract shape of a person wrapping their arms around the symbol, representing friendship and community.

For those who want to follow the Lions tour for news, updates, and to enter competitions, the dedicated site can be found here.

Springbok rugby competition update – Six Nations or Rugby Championship?

After the Super Rugby divorce and South Africa’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 Rugby Championship, popular opinion was that the Springboks would seek their annual international Test competition in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Six Nations being the only viable option. This idea was scuppered when SA Rugby announced that the Springboks would be competing in the Rugby Championship until 2030.

That should have put the issue to rest but, speculation remains rife that despite this verbal commitment that the Springboks could head North (as early as 2023). The feeling is that this commitment will not be upheld, much in the same way that New Zealand walked away from the current Super Rugby competition.

Only time will tell if this is indeed the case, yet the inflow of sponsorship money bodes well for South African Rugby.


“Main graphic courtesy of South African Rugby”