Plenty to play for

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The new tournament will see almost R20 million in the overall prize pool, with the winners pocketing a record breaking R6 million.

Tournament football has officially been taken to its highest level in South Africa thanks to the Premier Soccer League’s newest partner, Nedbank.

Speaking at the launch and official draw on Monday, PSL CEO, Kjetil Siem, was delighted by the revelation of the prize money.

“We have to applaud Nedbank for their commitment to local football. This competition is one of the most important events on our calendar and with their support they are certainly raising the profile of this tournament,” commented Siem.

“They must be further congratulated especially since they are newcomers to the football industry. They’ve taken giant leaps to make sure that their contribution will aid the development and further enhance the beautiful game in this country. We are confident that the Nedbank Cup will become not only the number one tournament in the country, but the number one tournament on the continent,” remarked Siem.

“Ke yona will be the key phrase that will drive the message of the Nedbank Cup throughout the country. Meaning “THE ONE” in Sesotho, it’s indicative of where the Nedbank Cup is aiming to position itself in soccer circles,” says Nombulelo Moholi, director of Nedbank Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs.

It’s exciting times for the banking giant.

The official launch and draw marks the culmination of a long search by Nedbank for an appropriate and significant opportunity to support the soccer fraternity.

The sponsorship will also extend to the total South African market the brand building and marketing programmes that have been so successful for Nedbank in golf, road running, and sport for people with disabilities.

“Nedbank is passionately committed to becoming the most aspirational bank for all South Africans. By including soccer in our sponsorship portfolio we are now in a position to contribute to building the game and giving something back to the people who eat, drink and sleep soccer. The winner of the Competition will represent South Africa and play at the African Confederations Cup each year, making the Nedbank Cup both aspirational and developmental. These are the cornerstones of the Nedbank brand positioning and promise,” says Moholi.

On paper, five games will be all that it takes for clubs to improve their finances by R6 million. But Siem did have a message for the clubs.

“Once again, the ball is in the court of the respective clubs to display a higher level of professionalism befitting the rise in commercial partners for the PSL,” he added. “If the standards of professionalism improve, the standard of play on the field will improve and with that comes financial rewards from our partners.”

A host of other incentives will also be dangled in front of the players to ensure that the glitz and glamour that goes with the Nedbank Cup and the standard of the tournament remains at the highest level.

Nedbank, together with The Sports Trust, sprang a surprise at the launch by giving the first SAFA team that was drawn a cheque for R32 000.00 - representing R1000.00 for each team in the draw - towards soccer development.

“As a founding trustee of The Sports Trust, Nedbank is committed to sport development and makes ongoing contributions to The Trust on behalf of clients who support the unique banking benefit programme offered through the Nedbank Sport Affinity suite of accounts. The Nedbank Transactor Account, Ke yona, makes it possible for soccer fans to contribute to the development of the sport, at no cost, simply by using their accounts,” adds Moholi.

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