Absa explain decision to withdraw from PSL Premiership sponsorship

Absa Head of Sponsorships Mtunzi Jonas (left) hand
Absa Head of Sponsorships Mtunzi Jonas (left) hands over the August 2019 COTM award to Ernst Middendorp
Irivin Khoza (left) and Oscar Siziba of Absa durin
Irivin Khoza (left) and Oscar Siziba of Absa during the 2019/20 season launch, where it was announced that the league prize money would be increased to R15-million
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza (left) shakes on the new
PSL chairman Irvin Khoza (left) shakes on the new last deal signed with Absa and Barclays Africa Group Exec Bobby Malabie in August 2017

Absa have explained why they have opted not to renew their sponsorship of the Premiership at the end of the 2019/20 season.

The PSL is now in search of a new main sponsor following Absa South Africa's decision to terminate their 16-year relationship, which included three years of the Absa Cup and a further 13 with the Absa Premiership.

READ: Absa withdraws PSL sponsorship

The decision comes as somewhat of a surprise, with the two parties having previously announced a new five-year deal signed in 2017, and Absa head of sponsorships Mtunzi Jonas has clarified the matter. 

"It was three years. What you find with most sponsorships, not just this one, is that you've got an initial term and then have an option to extend," Jonas tells

"So our agreement was a three-year agreement. At the end of the agreement, we would then say if we wanted to continue for longer or not."

READ: PSL, Absa sign new 5-year agreement

Jonas has also made it clear that the reason for their split from the Premiership has nothing to do with the PSL, while the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of the league also had little-to-no impact on their decision.

"The economic impact was there way before Covid, and I don't think the timing matters. The point is that Absa is a business, like any other, and the senior leadership of the company has taken a decision which they feel is best for the company," he explains.

"It definitely isn't about Covid. The timing on a lot of these decisions is [that] you don't just give someone a month's notice, the runway for these types of decisions is quite long.

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"There's no business in the world that hasn't been impacted in the last few years. Covid has obviously made it a lot worse but, like I said, this is not a knee-jerk reaction.

"There was a review that was done over a long time period in conjunction with everything – it's not just this [sponsorship] but it's an assessment of the whole business, all the sponsorships and all the operations.

"There were no issues, nothing happened [that led to this], it's just a business decision that was taken, and it's not linked to anything that happened recently."

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