DURBAN – Marriott has teamed up with the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) to sponsor South Africa’s rugby referees for the next three years. The new sponsorship was announced in Durban today.

Marriott offers a wide range of financial services specialising in merchant banking, unit trusts, asset management and property.

South African referees will wear Marriott-branded kit in all domestic competitions, from the Vodacom Rugby Super 12, Bankfin-CurrieCup, Vodacom Cup, SA Cup and Bankfin-Under-21, and including the Provincial Under-19 tournament and the Coca-Cola Youth Weeks. The new gear will be seen for the first time during the Vodacom Rugby Super 12 match between the Bulls and the Sharks at the ABSA Stadium on Friday evening, which is being refereed by Mark Lawrence.

Sponsorship of the South African rugby referees will provide Marriot with an opportunity to build its brand while supporting a team of individuals who are regularly called upon to use their judgement to make decisions in often trying conditions.

‘The national exposure that this sponsorship opportunity provides is an appropriate means to demonstrate to our clients that Marriott is no longer a regional player,’ said Marc Thomas, marketing director of Marriott Unit Trusts.

‘It will also provide Marriott with an opportunity to address its clients in a manner which is exclusive and fits in with our overall philosophy of doing business with focus, integrity, honesty and fair play. The sponsorship will, on and off the field, raise the profiles of both Marriott and the referees – two smaller, but important players in two industries which are dominated by much larger groups’, Thomas said. SARFU CEO Rian Oberholzer said the sponsorship would provide an ideal vehicle for exposure for Marriott. ‘The referee is seldom away from the action in a high-paced game such as ours. As a central figure, the referee is very often pictured on television and in print, which will contribute greatly towards establishing Marriott’s association with rugby and the referees.

‘It is also very encouraging to see a specialist group becoming involved in rugby. It is an acknowledgement that people involved in rugby, be they players, referees, administrators, spectators or supporters, are potential Marriott clients. We believe that this sponsorship will assist Marriott in building its brand and contribute to its future growth.

‘We welcome Marriott on board and look forward to working with them over the next three years,’ Oberholzer said.

For further infromtion please contact:

Marc Thomas (Marriott) – 083-309-9106
Anthony Mackaiser (SARFU) – 082-990-6920