Nike steps in to replace Puma as SAFA partner
The agreement will see Nike design and develop soccer kits for all men’s and women’s South African national teams as of 1st February 2014. The deal covers all playing and training kit, as well as official match balls for all nine of SAFA’s national teams.
Nike replaces former kit supplier Puma, who publicly dropped its association with the federation in October 2013 after SAFA became embroiled in a match-fixing scandal surrounding a series of warm-up games ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The new agreement, financial terms of which were not announced, will see Nike produce a limited edition kit for the men’s senior team, Bafana Bafana, for their international friendly against Brazil in Johannesburg on 5th March, along with all senior teams competing until the end of 2014. The nation’s 2015/16 kit will be officially launched in November this year.
SAFA will also be granted access to the Nike Football Training Centre in Johannesburg’ Soweto district, built in 2010.
The deal comes after South Africa played in Puma-branded kits at the 2014 African Nations Championship, despite the kit manufacturer ending its deal months before.
In the wake of South Africa’s elimination from the tournament at the hands of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, newly elected SAFA president Danny Jordaan told the Guardian newspaper that the federation are considering dropping the Bafana Bafana nickname due to a trademark dispute in South Africa which has cost SAFA millions in lost marketing income.
“This partnership signifies Nike’s deep commitment to support and advance South African football at all levels of the game, from the national team to grassroots football,” said Laurent Payre, the general manager of Nike Africa. “We look forward to providing innovative product technology to help players reach their full potential, and to helping shape the future success of South African football.”
“We are excited to partner with Nike and look forward to this comprehensive partnership enabling us to focus on the progression of football. This is a significant time for South African football as we embark on strengthening our structures especially across development and grassroots,” added Jordaan.
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