Saru has announced that its financial commitment to Springbok player costs has increased to R57.6 million.
The deal was signed with the South African Rugby Players’ Association (Sarpa) and Sarpacom Pty Ltd (the players’ rights management company) after several weeks of negotiation. It will be applied retrospectively from 1 January 2012.
The new model consists of three key elements:
– Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will be able to sign as many as 30 players on Springbok retainer contracts. In previous years only 10 to 20 Springboks had been contracted.
– Saru will pay the National Players Trust a market related intellectual property rights fee each year (of which a portion will be directed to the Springbok Sevens Players’ Trust) for collective appearances and the right to use collective attributes of the players in the activation of sponsor partners. In the previous two years, Saru paid the Players’ Trust on a per-appearance basis for the use of players’ attributes and appearances.
– An amount has been allocated to recompense provincial unions for the loss of players to the Springbok squad.
‘The players are rugby’s most important assets and we have struck a ground-breaking deal that has increased the pool for Springbok player costs in line with our budget for 2012,’ said Saru CEO Jurie Roux.
‘We will now be contracting as many as 30 Springboks each season and we have also reached agreement with the National and Sevens Players Trusts to purchase the collective players’ attributes and appearances. Sarpacom will manage that process and each player will receive a share of the intellectual property rights fee at the end of year.’
Roux added that the Trust arrangement was unique in world rugby and offered significant advantages to players and the national union.
‘The Players Trusts exclusively represent the collective players’ image rights and allow us to guarantee exclusive use of those image rights to our sponsors and commercial partners. There is also an opportunity for the Players Trust and Saru to share in other joint commercial ventures. This is an exciting partnership.’
Sarpacom executive director Eugene Henning explained that the professional approach by the players and their commitment to the well-being of the commercial landscape of South African rugby contributed significantly in concluding the deal.
‘The deal is aligned with international best practices and will ensure proper control and regulation of rights for both parties,’ said Henning. ‘We believe that this newly established commercial collaboration between the Players Trusts and Saru will be further developed in future to guarantee additional value to commercial sponsors and partners in rugby.’