Bafana Bafana is the South African men’s national team. (Getty Images)

Bank Boost for Bafana Bafana

South Africa’s biggest bank will sponsor Bafana Bafana for at least another season.
The deal between the South African Football Association and Absa, a SAFA partner since 2007, was announced Thursday and runs through December 2013.
“Absa is proud to continue our association with Bafana Bafana as the team faces another important period in its football history,” said Sizakele Marutlulle, Absa’s head of marketing for Africa.
“South Africa will welcome the best teams on the African continent as the country gears up to host the African Cup of Nations in 2013 as well as qualify for the next FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil in 2014.”
SAFA CEO Robin Petersen added: “This welcome sponsorship could not have come at a more appropriate time.”
Bafana Bafana face Brazil in Sao Paolo next Friday before hosting Mozambique the following week.

Adelaide United Goes Solar

Unleash Solar is ending Adelaide United’s six-month search for a shirt sponsor.
The Herald Sun reports that the South Australian solar specialist will pay $250,000 over the next year to associate with the Reds and their kits, including a new white alternate strip.
Comparing the value of the new deal – and federal funding that follows a league-wide ban on alcohol sponsors – to the club’s old arrangement with Aussie beer brand Coopers, chief executive Glenn Elliott told the paper they’re about equal.
“We hope it’s a long-term relationship and so do they,” he added.

Payday for Columbus Crew

Lending chain CheckSmart is the newest sponsor of the Columbus Crew.
Columbus Crew Stadium. (Crew)
Based in nearby Dublin, Ohio, the company will focus its two-year deal around the MLS franchise’s youth initiatives, including the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kicks for Kids program, and its efforts to connect with Hispanic supporters.
“This provides us an opportunity to improve neighborhoods and the community,” Brandon Jones, vice president of product development for parent company Community Choice Financial Inc., was quoted by Columbus Business First.
“That’s why we chose this avenue.”
Crew vice president Chris Previte denied he had any reservations about associating with a payday lender, especially one like CheckSmart without a history of sports sponsorship.
“All of our research shows they are a reputable, high-quality partner for us,” he told the business journal.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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