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Will We All Benefit From Nike?

It’s long been established that professional soccer in the modern era is a highly sought after business.

It’s no longer ‘just about the game’ - business interests need to be considered. Huge amounts of money are exchanging hands and some powerful people are benefiting from the every growing soccer economy.

So when SAFA announced their newly-signed partnership with Nike (who will be taking over the Bafana Bafana kit sponsorship) it is not unreasonable to ask the question: who really benefits from this deal?

It can’t only be SAFA and Nike, surely. Every good businessman negotiates a substantial contract that covers all desired outcomes, and in this case COSATU are looking that the deal meets certain requirements of their own.

The trade union is calling on SAFA to ensure that local manufacturing targets have been set in place for the new supporters’ kit. Having successfully negotiated with Nike’s predecessors, adidas and Puma, the Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union are now keen to see what part of this massive pie will come their way.

And why not? Manufacturing this kit locally will ensure jobs and economic development in the already ailing clothing and textile industry in South Africa. Frankly, if locals are spending money to buy this merchandise, the country’s clothing industry should surely benefit from it.

It is, of course, cheaper to mass produce these products in Asia for a pittance and then sell it for a hugely marked up price. But how does that build our local economy? Should we not, as supporters, get behind COSATU in their endeavour to secure local production of the kit as it is mothers, fathers, family members and friends of ours who are working in this industry? Since SAFA is, no doubt, cashing-in on this contract, is it not their duty to make sure that the local economy has a chance to cash-in as well?

Remember, if you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours! Read COSATU's full press release here: http://goo.gl/9NR1Bk

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