Land Rover is proud to announce it will continue its partnership with the South African Rugby Union (SARU) as the official vehicle partner and an associate sponsor of the Springboks.
The announcement is accompanied by confirmation that Springboks Duane Vermeulen, Sbu Nkosi, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Frans Steyn have been appointed official Land Rover brand ambassadors. All six were part of the Rugby World Cup 2019-winning squad which Land Rover South Africa was also proud to support.
To kick the renewed partnership off on a positive note the new Land Rover ambassadors have donated R40,000 to the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and its efforts to support thousands of South Africans around the country with meals, masks, sanitising soap and digital thermometers.
Global Land Rover ambassadors Kingsley and Ross Holgate are currently tracking the entire land border of South Africa in two new Defenders for their Mzansi Edge Expedition, with an objective to deliver humanitarian aid to hard-hit communities near game reserves devastated by the collapse of the tourism industry. The 70-day, 10,000km journey began just over a month ago and has recently left the Western Cape to continue up the eastern side of the country and complete a lap around the perimeter of Lesotho, where the Expedition Team will visit a number of schools and early childhood development (ECD) centres before wrapping up in Kosi Bay late in November.
Tina Pienaar-Smit, PR and Sponsorship Specialist, Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa, said: “The national lockdown has meant Land Rover and the Springboks have been unable to reactivate long-standing initiatives such as the Rugby Goes Rural clinics which contribute to our corporate social responsibility objectives. We are, however, thrilled to bring a trio of forces together to deliver essential supplies to those in need around the country under the recently-introduced #TeamDefender initiative banner. “By working with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, Land Rover and our ambassadors will make a difference to the lives of thousands. Kingsley and Ross are world-renowned experts in delivering aid to hard-to-reach places, and will do so safely during the pandemic, maintaining strict Covid-19 protocols.”
Duane Vermeulen, Land Rover ambassador and Springbok Number Eight, said: “Land Rover and the Springboks share values in strength, determination and capability, and it’s these links that make this partnership so successful. But it’s also Land Rover’s commitment to going above and beyond to help those around us that means so much to us. We are delighted to be associated with the brand and the values it stands for.
“We’ve seen the work done globally and locally as part of the #TeamDefender initiative, and I speak on behalf of my team-mates and fellow Land Rover ambassadors when I say we’re proud to be involved. We wish Kingsley, Ross and their team well on their current and future missions to improve and save lives.”
Land Rover is proud to have a long-standing, 20-year heritage and commitment to rugby at all levels and has been a sponsor of Rugby World Cup since 2011. Locally, Land Rover has been a partner of the Springboks since 2017 and in recent years has been involved with local unions, clubs and rural schools to support rugby from grassroots level to the pinnacle of the sport on the world stage.