11 September 2018, OUTsurance today announced a new partnership with SAFA which will see the insurer invest over R50m over a five-year period as the sponsor of the match officials.

This unique partnership will afford OUTsurance high visibility on-field at all ABSA Premier Soccer League, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SAB League, SASOL Women’s League and all cup matches. The sponsorship extends beyond branded apparel. At the core of this sponsorship is the development of refereeing in South Africa, to the benefit of both players and supporters.

With this support, SAFA will focus on a range of factors which will improve the standard of refereeing in the country. This includes grassroots development of underprivileged match officials, facilitating skills development for better on field performance and a review of remuneration to ensure fairness across the various grades.

In a space traditionally dominated by males, the partnership will also seek to promote the enrolment of more female match officials.

Speaking at the launch held at SAFA House in Nasrec, OUTsurance Head of Brand & Social Engagement, HazelChimhandamba said, “We are delighted to partner with SAFA on this first-of-its-kind football sponsorship, which we are certain will advance the standard of refereeing. The team of match officials are the custodians of fair play on the pitch, and we believe that if we can upskill our match officials, we’ll improve the consistency and quality of the officiating which should ultimately improve the overall level of football played.”

The partnership aims to achieve similar results achieved by OUTsurance’s sponsorship of the SARU match officials, which the insurer has sponsored for approximately 3 years.

It was also explained at the launch that OUTsurance truly believes in the upliftment of women in football which will be key to the success of their sponsorship.

“As the South African Football Association, we are excited to partner with a corporate that has already achieved so much with their existing sponsorships, and who we know are determined to making a positive difference in this space. Our motivation to partner with OUTsurance was that their objectives for the sponsorship aligned with those we have set out for Vision 2022, one of which is specifically the progress and inclusivity of women in football, which will receive assistance from this sponsorship.” said SAFA Deputy Chairperson of Referees, Mr Mbongeni Shibe.

The official kit which will be worn by the match officials was exhibited by some of the country’s top referees and will debut this weekend.