/ 26 April 2011

Safa looks into buying Bafana name

The South African Football Association (Safa) has entered negotiations to buy the rights to the nickname of the national team, according to the company that owns the trademark for apparel, headwear and footwear.

Stanton Woodrush, which registered the Bafana Bafana trademark 18 years ago, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had been approached by Safa for the first time and the two parties had met last week.

“Safa has officially approached Stanton Woodrush to negotiate the sale of the mark in class 25 owned by Stanton Woodrush,” the statement read. “We confirm that Stanton Woodrush has entered into negotiations with Safa in this regard.”

Class 25 relates to trademarks registered for use on apparel, headwear and footwear.

The company said it had already submitted a proposal to Safa, as requested by the federation, for the sale of the rights.

It would not comment further until negotiations had been concluded.

New name
Safa and Stanton Woodrush entered into a joint venture company called Safa Licensing and Management (Slam) in July 2005 to control the trademark.

The football body owns 50,5% of Slam, and Stanton Woodrush owner Wayne Smidt holds the other 49,5%.

Smidt’s company said in a statement earlier this month that Safa had shown no interest in its previous offer to sell the naming rights.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula threw his weight behind the idea to change the team’s nickname, a globally known trademark, rather than buying the rights.

Mbalula said the side needed a stronger name than Bafana Bafana, which means “The Boys” in isiZulu.

Safa said in March a three-man panel — president Kirsten Nematendani, vice-president Danny Jordaan and Safa executive member Alpha Mchunu — had been tasked with finding a new name. — Sapa