The Dusi Canoe Marathon, which takes place in KwaZulu-Natal next week, has lost banking giant FNB as its title sponsor.
FNB ended a four-year partnership with the Dusi to focus on other sports sponsorships and this means the 27-29 February race has no title sponsor.
Shane le Breton, Chairperson of the Dusi organising committee, said there were many other sponsors still attached to the race and that his organisation were confident of attracting a new title sponsor for next year’s race.
“The relationship between FNB and the Dusi has been a very positive one for the race. As sponsors, they sought to add value to the event and fully grasped the broader context of the event and the challenges facing the ecology and communities in the valleys,” he said. “FNB’s three-year contract as the title sponsor of the Dusi lapsed after the 2019 race. (There was a one-year arrangement before that contract came into being). They were proactively involved in communication with the event about their evolving marketing plans. After amicable discussions they indicated that they would not be taking up their right of renewal.”
Le Breton said this was not the first time that the Dusi did not have a title sponsorship.
“The Dusi has been run without a title sponsor many times before and the business model allows for a fully-serviced event to be run within the budget of entry fees, support sponsors and suppliers. The Dusi remains an iconic South African sporting event. The brand is highly recognisable and robust, and the positive way that it has weathered recent challenges bears testimony to this. We are extremely optimistic about signing a new title sponsor for 2021,” he said.
“We have the backing of the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, Euro Steel, Hansa, Truda Snax and Dirt Road Traders, together with a large number of other suppliers and partners, including Game, CHM Group, Spur Steak Ranches, SmectoGo, Gara, Umgeni Water, Life Healthcare and ER24.”