SA Rugby are set to write off their R10-million sponsorship with clothing manufacturer Canterbury after the latter was liquidated last month.
SAPA reports that Afrikaans newspaper Sondag reported that Canterbury International were sending out a representative to the country this week to try and salvage the relationship, as well as find a new licensee for the clothing line.
The newspaper reported that a consortium, headed by Bernie Habana -father of Springbok winger Bryan – will meet with Canterbury International this week in their bid to take over the license and ensure that Canterbury’s products are still on the shelves in South Africa.
Habana’s consortium has already made an offer, which was rejected and has until Tuesday to put a new offer on the table.
But behind the scenes SA Rugby are in tough negotiations to try and get their consignment of playing kit and replica merchandise out of a Cape Town warehouse which has been seized by the liquidator.
SA Rugby are even looking at the possibility of buying the sponsored merchandise from the liquidator to ensure that they have enough kit for the bumper season ahead.
But they are readying themselves to write off the cash portion of the sponsorship, according to the acting chief executive Andy Marinos.
“Canterbury were behind on their payments from 2008, so we will probably have to write the sponsorship off. But nothing stops Canterbury International to make another offer in the future for a new sponsorship agreement,” Marinos said.
“But more important than this for us is to ensure that we have jerseys on the shelves for our fans and kit for our teams. It is already the second month of the year and nothing has been sent out. It is a unique opportunity for us this season to sell jerseys, so we need to find a solution.” Habana snr didn’t respond to telephone calls but Canterbury International issued a statement confirming they were looking for a new licensee.
“Since the investigation undertaken by SARS, Canterbury International has maintained ongoing senior level contact with South Africa Rugby, working through the current situation and will continue to do so until a solution is found,” the statement read.
“A Senior Management delegation from Canterbury International is travelling to South Africa next week for a series of meetings with SA Rugby. Canterbury International is committed to working closely with SA Rugby and the team remains at the cornerstone of our sponsorship programme.
“With regard to potential new licensing partners, senior management of Canterbury International is coming to conclusions of its review of potential new licensees in South Africa and will be in a position to confirm the new operation for the brand in the very near future.”Tweet