Stuttering CSA loses Momentum as key sponsor opts not to renew
Momentum, the financial services company, will not be renewing its main sponsorship of Cricket South Africa when the current contract expires in April 2021, dealing another blow to the embattled governing body.
While the firm will continue its sponsorship of the women’s national team until the end of the 2023-24 season, the major deal between Momentum and CSA will finish in seven months’ time.
The agreement includes sponsoring South Africa home matches and domestic men’s one-day cricket (the Momentum Cup), as well as national age group teams and the national club championship.
Carel Bosman, Momentum’s head of sponsorship, said the decision not to renew came because his organisation was “not satisfied with the current state of affairs at CSA regarding governance and other reputational issues.”
However, he added: “We will continue our dialogue with CSA to keep them accountable to do the right thing. We all want to see a governing body that is run professionally and ethically, and one that considers all stakeholders.”
Of Momentum’s association with the Proteas, which started in early 2013, Bosman said: “Our eight-year partnership as a sponsor of cricket in South Africa has been hugely rewarding for our brand… Our support of and contribution to cricket is a positive story that we are proud of.”
The agreement with the women’s national side will take in the 2022 Women’s Twenty20 World Cup, set to be held in South Africa, and also cover the team's participation in the 2021 Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
Momentum’s decision comes as another blow to CSA, which has stumbled from one crisis to another over the last year.
Standard Bank, the main sponsor of the men’s national team, ended its association with CSA in April this year, after deciding not to renew last December.
In addition to this, the organisation suspended its then-chief executive Thabang Moroe in December, and finally sacked him last month, for “acts of serious misconduct.”
The board’s president, Chris Nenzani, and chief operating officer, Naasei Appiah, have also stepped down recently.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), stepped in last week instructing the entire senior CSA board to step down, citing “many instances of maladministration and malpractice” at the body.
However, CSA responded with a rebuttal-type and over the last few days the two bodies have been locked in talks over potential solutions.
SASCOC had been primarily concerned by CSA’s refusal to share the report which had formed the basis for Moroe being suspended and then sacked, and by the high turnover of senior personnel at the governing body.
However, CSA said yesterday that a meeting with SASCOC “presented a step forward towards a collaborative approach in the interest of good governance and executive operations.”
Kugandrie Govender, SASCOC’s acting chief executive, added that her organisation had “identified one or two things that need to be put in place.”
No schedule has yet been put in place for the South African 2020-21 cricket season, while there is at the moment technically no one body in charge of cricket in the country, while CSA is projecting losses of R654 million (just over $39 million) by early 2022.