SA Rugby, the governing body of rugby union in South Africa, has named beer brand Castle Free as the new headline sponsor of its sevens teams.
Castle Free, an SA Breweries product, will sponsor the Springbok Sevens, Springbok Women’s Sevens and SA Rugby Sevens Academy teams as part of the three-and-a-half-year agreement.
Castle Free’s branding will feature on the front of the teams’ shirts as part of the deal. SA Breweries is an existing partner of SA Rugby.
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said: “They (SA Breweries) have been involved in sponsoring other national teams such as the Springboks in the past and are currently the title sponsor to all of the Boks’ competitions and tours, such as the Castle Lager Incoming Series and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. We are delighted to have Castle Free as the brand associated with our championship-winning Blitzboks.
“Castle Free was first launched at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens tournament last year, so the power and potential of a partnership with the Blitzboks and SA Rugby was a natural next step. The Springbok Sevens team is on a journey of inspiring the nation and SA Breweries have always done the same.”
Castle Free replaces retail group Steinhoff International as the main sponsor of SA Rugby’s sevens teams. Steinhoff agreed a three-year deal to sponsor the body in December 2015 but last month announced that it would be ending the partnership early.
South Africa’s men’s sevens team will be seeking to defend its Commonwealth Games title at this year’s edition of the multi-sport event in Australia’s Gold Coast region in April. The team will also compete at the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in the US city of San Francisco in July.
South Africa’s women’s sevens team will also contest both events.