GAUTENG, JOHANNESBURG – It’s the end of an era as Jeep ends its 16-year sponsorship of one of South Africa’s most successful Sport & Wellness Teams, Jeep Team South Africa, founded by Max Cluer Sports Marketing cc (MCSMcc) in 2001.
The teams title sponsorship began with Jeep Apparel through Musgrave Agencies, which was then taken over by Jeep vehicles through Jeep South Africa, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
Jeep Team South Africa (JTSA) has been massively successful over the years in identifying, producing and shaping over 300 young South African athletes into world class athletes across select nonconventional sporting disciplines.
The core focus of Jeep Team has always been in educating athletes on sporting etiquette, managing stress, applying high ethical standards, and teaching self-brand-building acumen in order for each individual to reach their highest potential possible. JTSA also provided a solid support structure and comradery to its team members.
Says Max Cluer, “16 years is a long time to see a sporting property stick to one brand. Jeep has been an incredible and loyal partner and a good fit for the team and we are incredibly proud of our association with them and grateful for their vision, support and trust in us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every athlete who has represented the team and for making it the success that it is today. Their friendship and achievements will always remain a proud memory.”
Over the years, the Jeep Team portfolio grew and consolidated into one of the most successful teams of its kind in South Africa, producing local, national and world champions across the sporting codes of Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking, Downhill MTB, BMX, Surfski, River Kayaking, Multisport, Extreme Sport, and, more recently, Trail Running and Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), which were included into the 2015 portfolio.
In 2014, Jeep Team shifted its focus to manage only Junior, u/23 and Elite categories across 6 sporting disciplines – Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking, River Kayaking, Multisport, Trail Running and Obstacle Course Racing.
Currently, the Jeep Team holds some of South Africa’s top internationally-acclaimed athletes like:
- Robyn (Kime) Owen (AR) who has just won the Kathmandu Coast to Coast in NZ, is a Dusi Marathon record holder, and has won and placed top 5 in many national and international high-profile races;
- Hank McGregor (Kayak), a ten-time World Paddling Champion, the world’s most successful paddler of all time, and has just been inducted into the World Paddle Awards Academy;
- Barry Lewin (Kayak) who is also the longest standing Jeep Team athlete of 14 years with a history of awards spanning a couple decades;
- Thomas van Tonder (OCR) ranked first in South Africa in OCR and Top 10 in the world;
- And Christiaan Greyling (AR), who over the past 12 months has produced wins, top 3 and top 10 achievements across the world’s toughest trail marathons and adventure races.
Says Thomas van Tonder, “I am very proud of the journey with Jeep Team SA. This amazing team will always be part of my journey, part of me going forward. I am very proud to have been part of this incredible team.”
The Discovery Sport Industry Award winning team from MCSMcc is also no stranger to accolades, and in 2017 Jeep Team SA was shortlisted for the Discovery Sport Industry Awards Category, Best Use of PR.
Says Hank McGregor, “I have had a fantastic couple of years with the team, being a part of the team. It is sad that Jeep Team is coming to an end. It really is the end of an era. You are only as good as your support crew, no matter what athlete you are. Having such a fantastic team behind us, managing us, as well as the other teammates who encourage you daily, gets you to raise your game. Hearing about results from the different disciplines makes you raise your game to a level you possibly hadn’t considered before. It has been an awesome time being part of such an amazing team. It is sad to see it go, but the future is always bright, and we can only go up from here.”
Concluded Cluer, “Having represented Olympic athletes, and World and National Champions, and being nominated for, and winning, numerous awards over the years, there is a tremendous amount of good will surrounding the team and we would love to carry on the momentum and find that right brand to get involved and help us continue with the legacy of finding and nurturing talented South African athletes, and continue making a difference and being able to prepare them for the world stage.”