Nedbank’s #PlayYourPart & Fanmode Activates South African Open Championship Sponsorship

The start of December saw Nedbank launch a campaign urging South Africans to play their part in helping golf recover from the pressures of the pandemic in 2021.


Like many other sports, golf development in South Africa has been negatively affected by Covid-19 in 2020, so, ahead of the 3 December start of the South African Open Championship, tournament sponsors Nedbank and the Sunshine Tour rolled out an initiative encouraging the public to play their part in the recovery and growth of golf.


As well as a hero spot, the initiative is being promoted on the course with players wearing South African flag badges and cap clips which are available for purchase at ProShop stores around the country.


All proceeds will go towards the South African Golf Development Board to help its mission of growing and developing the game in the cities as well as remote areas.



With much of South Africa still locked down, the tournament will be played on an empty golf course without fans. But Nedbank is also helping connect fans to the course through ‘Fanmode’: a first-of-its-kind initiative for SA golf, Fanmode is a digital platform enabling fans to share their live reactions to the golf action from home by celebrating, cheering and waving the #PlayYourPart flag.


These fan video reactions and acts of support will shown on the big screens on the golf course, as well as on social media platforms so players and fans will be able to see the supporter reactions during the tournament.


‘We are excited to see the SA Open take place at our most iconic golf course in Sun City for the first time. For years, this historic event has been a launchpad for top golfers, leading them to qualify for major events, which help kick-start their careers in the sport,’ said Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive, Marketing and Communications at Nedbank.


‘In light of Covid-19 and its impact on society, we have been encouraging South Africans to play their part in the fight against the pandemic. By purchasing the #PlayYourPart badges, we are now urging everyone to pledge their support and help development golf recover and grow in 2021,’ she added.


In addition, Nedbank will be donating a modern golfing facility to Mphuphuthe Primary School in the community of Ledig, in North West province. Together with their implementation partner, The Sports Trust, the bank is planning to install golf facilities such as practice nets, grandstand seating and more.


As part of the project, Nedbank and The Sports Trust will also provide a food garden and poultry farming to assist the school with alleviating the plight of hunger ‘As we look forward to 2021, this is how we are playing our part in the recovery and development of golf in and around South Africa. Through the multipurpose sports court, we hope to encourage participation in the community of Ledig and help create future homegrown champions,’ Nobanda added.


‘These additional facilities will continue to enhance education through sport for the youth in this community, and we are proud to partner with Nedbank to implement the second phase of this project,’ said Anita Mathews, Executive Director of The Sports Trust.





The 2020 South African Open Championship, jointly presented by Nedbank and Sun International, is being played at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City from 3-6 December. First played in 1903, the South African Open Championship is one of the world’s oldest national open golf championships in the world. A pillar of the Southern-Africa-based ‘Sunshine Tour’, the tournament has been co-sanctioned by the European Tour since 1997.


The 110th playing of the second oldest national Open in golf offers prize money of R19.5 million and completes a three-week run of tournaments co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and European Tour spearheading the sport’s post-lockdown restart.


In the absence of the Nedbank Golf Challenge this year, Nedbank and Sun International (both longstanding sponsors of South African professional golf) agreed to support the country’s national Open and the playing opportunities it provides for South Africa’s leading professionals and top amateurs, while at the same time providing the critical business stimulus required in South African professional golf at this time.


“Nedbank has a long and proud history with the game of golf and we value the role we can play in the restart of South African golf’s international calendar following the COVID-19 lockdown. Traditionally, South African golf fans would have been looking forward to ‘Africa’s Major’ at Sun City at this time of the year, and in this way they can still look forward to a great event in the form of the world’s second oldest national Open,” said Mike Brown, Chief Executive of Nedbank.


Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive of Sun International, said: “We are extremely proud to be able to host the South African Open Championship, one of the flagship tournaments of South African golf. The Gary Player Country Club is in pristine condition as a combination of being well-prepared for the Nedbank Golf Challenge before we had to cancel this year’s event, and the lack of significant traffic as a result of the national lockdown. So we are confident this year’s field will encounter a golf course in excellent condition and very much worthy of this great championship.”











Sunshine Tour




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