Cricket South Africa and New Balance, the US-based sportswear company, have today announced that they are to wind up their commercial partnership, with the governing body to announce a replacement apparel supplier on Thursday (30 September).
The decision, which CSA said has been made mutually, brings a six-year relationship to an end on 1 October, with New Balance having initially been brought on board through a five-year deal in 2015.
It was the brand’s first significant move into international cricket.
The partnership was extended in 2019 and had been due to run through until 2023, but has instead been brought to a close two years ahead of schedule.
New Balance has said the decision has been taken while "reviewing current business and strategic imperatives."
The sportswear firm provided apparel and footwear for the men’s and women’s national teams and staff and equipment to CSA's development programmes.
It leaves behind Momentum Health and CSA’s team sponsor and series associate sponsor, Betway and KFC as its headline event partners, and a number of other brands as official sponsors and official suppliers.
Describing the part of ways as “a case of farewell rather than goodbye”, Pholetsi Moseki, acting chief executive of CSA, said: “New Balance has been a committed partner to CSA for six years and we have enjoyed a very happy and fruitful relationship during this period.
“Their support has gone right down to grassroots level. I am very happy to announce that they will continue to be involved in cricket through their annual equipment distribution to young cricketers from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Craig Bowen, country manager for New Balance South Africa, added: “After consultations with CSA and reviewing current business and strategic imperatives, we, together with CSA, have made the decision to draw our commercial relationship to a close. New Balance is proud of our contribution to the game during our tenure and hope that our involvement has left a legacy that will continue to support CSA’s vision to make cricket a national sport of winners.
“With this in mind and as an acknowledgement of the good relationship we have built with CSA, we remain available to support the transition to the new supplier until March 2022. New Balance will also continue our yearly equipment distribution (together with CSA) to young cricketers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Our hope is thus that cricketers from development to professional levels will continue to receive what they need to grow and perform at the highest level.”
New Balance's kit supply deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board, a five-year arrangement from January 2017, is meanwhile also set to come to end shortly, with the ECB having announced Castore as their new partner earlier this month.
The South Africa men's team are due to play Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi in a warm-up for the T20 World Cup on 18 October, which should be their first tournament with a new kit supplier in place, while the women's team play next on 18 January 2022 against the West Indies.
CSA remains in a perilous financial state, having lost revenue due to cancelled international fixtures and tours during the coronavirus pandemic, and in April the situation worsened when financial services company Momentum walked away from its main sponsorship deal with CSA, having opted not to renew its contract.