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Financial services are pumping in more money into sports events in a bid to strengthen their brands and attract new customers. Around the world, banks’ sponsorship of sports has intensified since the 2008 global economic crisis. Back in 2009 the Economist observed how banks were infiltrating stadiums because crowds had become “better heeled”. The situation is similar in SA: for decades Absa has been synonymous with the local Premier Soccer League (PSL), Nedbank with the Ke Yona team search and the Nedbank Cup while FNB sponsored the Blitzbok rugby. On the insurance front, Momentum held on to its One Day International cricket sponsorship even in bad times when its profits were plummeting and the business losing market. Other insurers and medical schemes are vying for headline-sponsor status on popular local marathons such as the Old Mutual Two Oceans and the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. At the weekend in Durban, most banks hosted “business suites” where they dined the private bank cl...

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