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19 August 2013
Similar to SPI UK, which is owned by Sanlam, the club has rich South African roots. It has been 50% owned by Remgro since 2008 and has featured many current and previous generation Springboks including Brendan Venter, John Smit and Francois Pienaar.
According to Daniël Kriel, CEO of SPI, the sponsorship forms part of a broader campaign to increase brand exposure, raise brand awareness and provide opportunities to attract clients through a targeted strategy specifically for SPI UK operations. SPI UK currently manages £2.5 billion (July 2013) for its UK clients, operating from offices in Bath, Harrogate, Kirkby Lonsdale, London, Marlow, Newcastle and Sevenoaks.
“We chose rugby as our sponsorship focus owing to its large following and international exposure. It is the most followed sport in the UK among high net worth individuals, ahead of polo and sailing. It is transmitted over 22 TV channels across every continent and in all countries that participate in World Cup rugby,” says Kriel.
SPI chose to sponsor Saracens not only for the club’s ranking in the Premier League, the European Cup and LV Cup, but also for its approach to running the club. This approach resonates with SPI’s core values namely passion, trust, transparency and innovation. Saracens was also chosen for its strong community focus and team spirit. “In addition, we are the club’s wealth partner, advising and managing the players’ personal wealth.”
Kriel adds the sponsorship will further aid SPI in accessing the UK market, but also in gaining access to a niche market of wealthy South Africans living in London, as well as their colleagues and friends.
The Saracens squad is currently in South Africa to participate in a 10-day pre-season training camp. The team will also visit various charity projects during their stay.