Over the years whilst working for a major cigarette company I was involved with many different sporting events as a sponsor.. I was fortunate to meet many legends of South African sports over the years whilst doing a job I enjoyed.
Joel Stransky World Cup winning drop goal in 1995.
Joel was a few years older than me and was playing for the sharks at the time and was involved ina scandal with a brewery from the Natal North Coast. The problem was South African Breweries sponsored a cup tournament called the Lion Cup after their beer called Lion Lager and it was frowned upon that Joel and Pieter Muller were promoting another brewery.
If truth be told the game was already professional long before 1995 and there were ways of getting the players payed in an around about way. Special financial packages through various policies had been hatched by the different unions and these were paid out to the players in lump sums. As long as the Union wasn't paying them directly it was seen as a loop hole.
I don't think Freeman's Lager is around anymore and was probably bought out by South African Breweries.
I used to get a call whenever Joel had a Freeman Lager event planned and we did a joint promotion together. These events were normally quite large and we would expect a few thousand people to attend. This used to upset the Winfield team who were the brand sponsoring rugby events at the time. The difference was I knew most of the players as I played with and against them at club level.
The two years that I held this position before transferring I used to attend the ladies night hosted by the Sharks Rugby team each year. It wasn't my fault they put me onto the wrong brand where I had a stronger networking ability as I was in the middle of it.