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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

FNB come on board as CMA continues search for more Comrades sponsors

Even though they announced a big new commercial partner, the Comrades Marathon Association say the search for sponsors continues. Yesterday the CMA announced a three-year sponsorship deal with banking giant First National Bank (FNB). Speaking to the media in Pietermaritzburg, CMA Chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo was, pleased with the news. "We are very happy with the partnership we have signed. It comes at a time of need, " said an elated Ngcobo.

Known for their involvement in several sporting codes across the country, FNB say they are excited to work with one of South Africa's most loved sporting brands as a means of reinvigorating the post-pandemic economy. "FNB has a long history of supporting participation sports, and we are excited to be a part of the world-renowned Comrades Marathon. This partnership is in line with our sponsorship strategy, which is centred on fostering social cohesion through sports and other initiatives," said Bonga Sebesho, FNB Brand Experience Head.

FNB Director Provincial, Asheen Magjee and CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo after signing the three year agreement. Photo Credit: CMA.

But because FNB has signed on as a tier two and not a headline sponsor, the need for more financial partners to fill the whole left by two years without a race. The 100-year old race was one of the hardest hit race organisers during the two year Covid19 enforced absence, as some staff at Comrades House had to be retrenched. This has resulted in the organizers of the "Human Ultimate race" dropping the prize money on offer.

"During the official launch of the race we made it clear that we are in need of sponsorship. We then challenged businesses to assist us. The last two years have been challenging for most of us and some businesses have shut down. But we are pleased that FNB listened and decided to help us in the time of need," said Ngcobo who went to explain that they still in search of more sponsors till they find financial stability.

" We are not going to rest as we are still looking for more sponsors to partner with us. During the launch, we stated that we are projecting a deficit in our budget. To organise a world-class event like Comrades needs more money so that's why we still need more sponsors to prepare for the future or at least until we have reached a level where we are financially stable," he concluded.

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