February 02, 2023

SA Government Considers Questionable Football Sponsorship

South African Tourism, a department of the country’s government, is reportedly in discussions with English Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur over a 36-month sponsorship partnership worth nearly one billion rand.

A local publication with access to the confidential documents first broke the news on Tuesday, 31 January, sparking mass debate as to whether the money could be better spent.

In return for the sponsorship, the club will grant stadium branding, interview backdrop branding, match-day advertising, a 5-14 day training camp in South Africa with the full first Spurs team — as well as access to free tickets and stadium hospitality.

The internal documents listed the successes of other countries such as Abu Dhabi’s sponsorship of Manchester City, Malta’s sponsorship of Manchester United and Rwanda’s sponsorship of Arsenal, who all saw a boost in tourism.

“If SA Tourism does not grab this opportunity, a competing [destination management organisation] will!”, the PowerPoint presentation stated as it suggested that the deal should begin this month.

However, many feel the exorbitant fee could be put to better use aiding the country’s ailing infrastructure.

Currently, scheduled power outages take place multiple times a day across the country due to an unmaintained electricity grid. As a result, waterworks and waste removal sectors are beginning to fail while businesses are struggling to make ends meet.

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