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MTN, the South African mobile phone operator, has extended its headline sponsorship deal with the Springboks, the country’s men’s national rugby union team, until 2025.

The renewal announced today extends a relationship between MTN and South Africa Rugby dating back to 2017.

Since then, MTN has held front-of-shirt and premium sponsorship rights for all international test matches featuring the Springboks.

The extension comes into effect ahead of the three-test series in South Africa against the touring British and Irish Lions, starting in Cape Town on 24 July.

MTN and SA Rugby have been in talks regarding a renewal since late 2019, shortly after the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The original deal was worth between R40 million ($3.1 million) and R50 million per year, according to South African reports.

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By GlobalData

MTN has said it will activate the sponsorship with “plenty of unique experiences, exciting new prizes and competitions".

Jurie Roux, chief executive of SA Rugby, said: “MTN have been a wonderfully supportive partner during a time of regeneration for the Springboks and the wider South African rugby fraternity, and have stuck with us through the pandemic.

“They wanted a powerful partnership and that is exactly what we have established in the last four years.”

Mapula Bodibe, chief consumer officer for MTN South Africa, added: “MTN has been a long-time supporter of South African sport and the renewal of our sponsorship of the Springboks further entrenches our position as an ardent supporter of South Africa's sporting ambitions.”

Aside from rugby, MTN is a sponsor of soccer and cricket in South Africa.

In October last year, SA Rugby extended its sponsorship deal with FNB, the financial services company, for a further five years.  

FNB’s logo continues to appear on the backs of the playing shirts of the Springboks, above the playing number. 

The original three-year contract was signed in August 2017, and was reported to be worth R20 million per year.