Safa scores total Bafana profits

2011-06-25 16:01

While the South African Football Association (Safa) is celebrating retaining the Bafana Bafana name at a price of R5 million, it has turned out that the association is not sure whether all their trademarks are properly registered.

Apart from Bafana Bafana, the men’s senior national team, the women’s senior side have popularised the Banyana Banyana monicker – and so too the national Under-17s (as Amajimbos) and the Under-20s (Amajita).

The national Under-23s are still referred to as AmaGlug-Glug, which is a trademark that still belongs to petrochemicals group and the team’s former sponsor, Sasol.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said his association had learnt a valuable lesson from their legal wrangle with Stanton Woodrush (Pty) Limited, the company owned by Wayne Smidt, who registered the Bafana Bafana name in 1993.

This legal wrangle dragged on for 18 years.

Speaking to City Press during the announcement that Safa and Smidt had reached a settlement over the name, he said: “There are a number of properties that we registered but one needs to dig deeper into that (to be sure if they are indeed registered).”

The R5 million settlement, which was reached this week, is payable over a period of 12 months.

City Press reported last month that Stanton’s initial asking price to Safa was R41 million.

Said Nematandani: “We took it for granted that the Bafana name belonged to us and it didn’t. With due respect to my predecessors, they also never thought this would have happened then.

“We need to understand our product fully and register it so that it’s never lost in the process. That is the lesson we learnt.”

Meanwhile, Danny Jordaan, who chaired the Safa three-man ad-hoc committee tasked with finding a new nickname for the national men’s team, said they had achieved the first step.

He said: “We have taken a principled position that both the team and the nickname of the team must be owned by Safa.”

Jordaan, who is the fourth vice-president of Safa, was reluctant to reveal the monetary figures that were tabled during the negotiations prior to the transfer of Class 25 Trademark rights in Bafana Bafana to the association.

Class 25 refers to trademarks registered for use on apparel, headwear and footwear.

“It (the amount) is significantly less compared to what it originally was. We invested heavily in the name and it cost us about R120 million in marketing during the Football Fridays (prior to the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup).”

With this settlement, it now says that Safa, alone, will from now on pocket the entire profits from the Bafana merchandise sales. Under the previous arrangement, Smidt and Safa had agreed to a joint venture called Slam (Safa Licensing and Management) to control the trademark.

Added Jordaan: “If someone buys the Bafana Bafana jersey, that money will go to Safa now. We now have to find a way to exploit this. The administration must make sure that all properties of Safa are registered.”

Apparently, Smidt made about R33 million in profits during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, according to a report published by the Sunday Times.

Safa has over the past 18 years failed, through legal channels,

to wrestle the Bafana trademark from Stanton Woodrush (Pty) Ltd.

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