NBL committed to sport despite Covid hiccup

By Michael Uugwanga

DESPITE Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) seeing its sales decline due to Covid-19 restrictions as well as alcohol bans in South Africa, which adversely impacted the South African trading environment and NBL’s overall volume and profitability performance, the company will continue to promote its brand through sport in both countries through its brand beers, Tafel Lager, Windhoek Draught and Windhoek Lager.

Tafel Lager is the main sponsor of the Brave Warriors, and South African top rugby club Griquas.

Windhoek Draught on the other hand is the main sponsor of the Welwitschias and Windhoek Lager sponsors the annual Africa Jacket Golf Championship.

In the past, many Namibians expressed their frustration following NBL’s decision to partner SA rugby, while local rugby in particular the Namibia Rugby Premier League (NRPL) has been without a sponsor since 2012 after the previous sponsor of the league, MTC ended the relationship.

Responding to queries by Confidente Sport on whether NBL will continue with its sponsorships despite the financial decline caused by the pandemic, Ohlthaver & List group manager for corporate communications, Roux-ché Locke said NBL remains committed to its investments which focus on strategic sponsorships into sporting codes that are passion points for consumers, both in Namibia and South Africa, and these include rugby, soccer and golf.

“After having carefully scrutinised our advertising and sponsorship budgets of which some are long term investments we recognise SA as an important export market and, with the traction gained on our Tafel brand, it needs to be maintained as benefits flow back into our country through NBL’s partnership with Heineken SA. It should be categorically stated that there is no contractual obligation as there is no sponsorship agreement between NBL and University of Stellenbosch Rugby club, Maties,” said Locke.

While it is still not clear on whether the restrictions on the sale of alcohol trading hours in Namibia will be lifted at the next Covid-19 public briefing on July 15, Locke said NBL will always remain an industry leader towards responsible and safe behaviour.

“As at 31 December 2020 (the first half of NBL’s financial year), overall volumes declined by 23.1 percent predominantly due to Covid-19 related restrictions as well as alcohol bans in South Africa, which adversely impacted the SA trading environment and NBL’s overall volume and profitability performance. Although Covid-19 did impact our export markets, favourable exchange rates allowed us to absorb this impact. Trading conditions have continued to impact our business in the second half of the financial year (January – June 2021) however NBL continues to be resilient and we remain committed to finding every growth opportunity possible,” said Locke.