SAFA settle on R5m fee for Bafana name
25 June 2011
South Africa’s football association are to pay 5 million Rand for the rights to the popular nickname of the country’s soccer team, Bafana Bafana, ending a long running dispute with a licensing company who first registered the name.
The sum will be paid over 12 months to Johannesburg-based licensing company Stanton Woodrush, who had registered the nickname when it first became popular almost 20 years ago, the South African Football Association said at a media conference in Johannesburg on Friday.
It brings to a close a highly divisive issue which had pitted the association against the licensing company in court and also concludes months of post-World Cup negotiations.
“We feel very happy about the acquisition of the Bafana Bafana name which allows us to exploit this great brand for the good of the game,” SAFA president Kirtsen Nematandani told reporters.
The association lost a court contest over the intellectual property rights nine years ago but later went into a partnership with Stanton Woodrush for apparel and licensing sales around the Bafana Bafana nickname, worth an estimated 50 million Rand and peaking during last year’s World Cup.
Bafana Bafana was a moniker first attached to the team in 1992 by a newspaper reporter in a country where nicknames for teams and football players are commonly used.
Loosely translated from Zulu it means “our boys” and quickly became popular although was shunned at first by the football association.
After South Africa won the 1996 African Nations Cup, and the nickname became firmly attached to the team, the association sought to embrace it but had already been beaten to the registration of the name as trademark by businessman Stan Smidt, who owned Stanton Woodrush.
After last year’s World Cup, SAFA made a renewed bid to gain sole rights to the nickname and held lengthy negotiations, at one time threatening to ditch Bafana Bafana and organise a public poll for a new nickname.