Stannic Sponorship Withdrawn at End of Season

STANNIC ANNOUNCES WITHDRAWAL FROM RALLYING IN 2000 30 July 1999 Stannic is to withdraw its sponsorship of the South African Rally Championship from the end of the current season. The announcement was made in Johannesburg today by Stannic ...

STANNIC ANNOUNCES WITHDRAWAL FROM RALLYING IN 2000 30 July 1999

Stannic is to withdraw its sponsorship of the South African Rally Championship from the end of the current season.

The announcement was made in Johannesburg today by Stannic managing director Dave Brown. For the past two years Stannic has sponsored the Stannic National Rally Championship as well as regional championships in the Northern Regions, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape.

"The decision to withdraw from rallying was taken reluctantly and is based on the fact that the sport does not reach a sufficiently broad base of our target market," Brown said.

"Throughout the term of our rally sponsorship we have had an excellent working relationship with Rally Management CC, and their professional approach has seen electronic and print media coverage and spectator attendance at events show significant growth."

Rally Management CC chief executive Arthur Abraham said Stannic's decision had come as a shock. The sport now faced a serious predicament after going through a renaissance over the last two years.

"We are very disappointed but understand the business reasons behind Stannic's decision," Abraham said. "We now find ourselves in something of a crisis situation and it is going to be difficult to find a replacement.

"On this score, however, we have already opened negotiations with other potential sponsors locally and abroad and will work hard towards maintaining the momentum that has been built up, with Stannic's support, over the last two years."

Abraham added that rallying still represented the most cost effective sponsorship opportunity in South African motorsport. The sport continued to produce better results, in all respects, than any single circuit racing category.

"The value of television exposure, at rate card costs, has increased by 280 percent this year," Abraham said. "The percentage rise in print exposure, also at rate card costs, has been even more spectacular and has shown an increase this year of 400 percent.

"Radio coverage has also shown a marked increase as has spectator attendance at events this year."

Abraham said these figures were among major benefits which Rally Management CC hoped would secure a replacement for Stannic.

Other benefits include a minimum of two days of action, opportunities for cars and sponsor branding to be seen at the start/finish, parc fermes, overnight stops, service halts, regroups and transport sections along the route.

"Circuit racing is also a shared activity with various categories fighting over a slice of the exposure pie at any given race meeting," Abraham said. "The geographical scope of rallying is also a major plus for sponsors, and innovations introduced into the sport over the last two years have played major roles in the increase in electronic and print media coverage and in spectator attendance."

Abraham added that the MSA Rally Commission had already submitted to Motorsport SA, the controlling body for motorsport, a draft calendar for the 2000 season. The calendar made provision for eight national championship events extending from March to October next year.

"Project: WRC is also a significant development with the Rally of South Africa in the Western Cape at the end of the year a pilot event aimed at securing South Africa a place on the FIA World Rally Championship within three years," Abraham said. "We will continue to work towards the goals and targets we set ourselves when we secured the Stannic sponsorship in 1997.

"The loss of Stannic is a body blow but Rally Management CC remains positive that we can overcome this latest setback, and we are still optimistic about the future of rallying in South Africa."

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