The country’s top-flight netball league has been given a shake, with the headline sponsor pulling out of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League ahead of the 2019 season.
Netball South Africa confirmed on Wednesday that South African Breweries (SAB) would not be renewing its deal to fund the annual semi-professional league.
SAB had backed the Premier League through its Brutal Fruit brand since it was launched in 2015.
“This is a big blow to netball in the country as the NPL provided the perfect platform between club/varsity players and the Spar Proteas and can be credited for the massive strides the national team have been making on the international stage.”Netball South Africa
Multiple Proteas players had been spotted by the national selectors after producing standout performances in the Premier League, with the annual tournament offering local players a step up to international level as well as a rare opportunity to earn prize money for their appearances on court.
Eager to keep the league competition afloat, with NSA trying to promote the sport ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup bid announcement in April, the federation hoped to find a new sponsor for the 2019 league campaign.
“NSA and their commercial agents Accelerate Sport, are in discussions with a number of interested parties and are working tirelessly to ensure that Netball South Africa’s elite competition not only takes place in 2019 but is better than ever before.”Netball South Africa