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Unorthodox Sport signs first women’s professional rugby team in South Africa, the Bulls Daisies

Johannesburg-based company Unorthodox Sport secures a vital partnership deal with Bulls Daisies by assisting the first women’s team to be offered professional contracts in the history of South African rugby with receiving sponsorship.

Gender inequality and the gender pay gap in South Africa is still a factor across different industries and moreover in sports. The global sports market grew from $486.61 billion in 2022 to $512.14 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%. The sports market is expected to grow to $623.63 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 5.0% according to Research and Markets. Women make up 40% of

sportspeople, however as of 2020 they continue to only receive 4% of the total sports media coverage in print and broadcast devoted to them. This is even despite fluctuations during key events like the Olympics or World Cup.

Since media coverage has been demonstrated to directly impact a sport’s ability to attract and maintain commercial sponsorships, a lack of coverage can have a significant impact on the sustainability of female athletes, sports, and competitions. The 2017 Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport highlighted that in Australia only 8% of sponsorship is directed towards women’s sport and 7% of broadcast coverage.

“Unorthodox Group has always had a vested interest in the empowerment of women and it shows through the initiatives and clients that we have had in the past. In the 3 years that Unorthodox Sport has been in existence for we have seen the dire situation of women’s sport in South Africa and we could not just watch when we have made strides in our short time in being in sports. Our partnership with the Blue Bulls Daisies is a perfect match as we get to support a much needed and excellent initiative by the Blue Bulls Company.” explained Sibabalwe Sesmani, Group CEO.

Image: Supplied

BBCo. Chief Executive, Edgar Rathbone welcomed the Unorthodox Group to the Loftus family, touting the partnership as key to sourcing strategic partners to the Bulls Daisies.

“We are fortunate as a brand to have corporate South Africa continue to wish to be a part of our historic ambitions. As a strategic partner, we know Sibabalwe Sesmani and the team will help us a great deal in identifying and partnering with sponsorship partners who will share the same vision and goals for women’s rugby. We are thrilled to have them as a partner and look forward to a fruitful journey ahead.”

BBCo. Executive : Women’s Rugby & Strategic Projects , Thando Manana says the partnership is another key milestone in the establishment of the Bulls Daisies.

“We know from experience that professional sports cannot survive on funding or subsidy alone because of the many elements involved in running a high-functioning high-performance environment. So this partnership will go a long way in helping us establish strategic partnerships that will help fuel our mission and the overall development of women’s rugby in South Africa.”

Unorthodox Sport, a subsidiary of Unorthodox Group, aims to secure sponsorship for the Bulls Daisies and further commercialise the team’s brand.

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