Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images
The Lions cricket franchise kicked off its 2022/23 season in style at Johannesburg’s iconic Wanderers Stadium on Thursday and officially unveiled its title sponsorship and naming rights deal with DP World.
The partnership will see major international logistics giants replace Imperial on the front shirt of the Lions men’s and women’s teams ahead of the new season.
The teams are now officially called the DP World Lions and their home venue will be known as DP World Wanderers Stadium.
In 2019, the Lions and Imperial signed a five-year stadium naming rights deal which saw the franchise named the Imperial Lions and their stadium named Imperial Wanderers.
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But, following the 100% acquisition of Imperial Logistics Limited by Dubai-based DP World Logistics in March, the Lions and Wanderers brand has now moved from Imperial to DP World.
The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to South Africa, His Excellency Mahash Saeed Alhameli, was present.
The naming rights for the Lions team and stadium continue a trend which has seen the Johannesburg-based franchise and its home, the Wanderers, change its name for sponsorship reasons.
The Lions and Wanderers have had iconic names including Liberty Life, Bizhub, Bidvest, Imperial and now DP World attached to them for the past two decades.
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Besides DP World, the Lions have other business agreements with more than 20 South African companies.
The Lions have rewarded commercial support over the years with good results and silverware as it is now normal for them to win at least one trophy per season.
The scintillating event to announce sponsorships began on the pitch where players, journalists and other guests were shown around the newly marked stadium.
The DP World signage is hard to miss as it screams all over the 34,000 seat stadium nicknamed ‘the Bullring’ for its design and intimidating atmosphere.
The festivities then moved to the Long Room, the venue’s presidential suites, where official speeches were delivered, and players paraded in new yellow and white home-and-away game jerseys.
DP World has other sponsorship and partnership agreements in cricket and golf.
After more than a decade of supporting the European Tour, DP World has become the official title partner of the competition ahead of the 2022 season in a bid to usher in a new era in golf.
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In 2020, DP World has signed a long-term agreement to be on the back of the IPL Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise jerseys as a global logistics partner.
Meanwhile, the 2022/23 Cricket SA (CSA) Domestic season begins on Monday with the CSA T20 Challenge at Potchefstroom in the North West.
The T20 Challenge will see all 31 matches played at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.
The Lions begin their campaign against the North West Dragons on Monday.