The Sunwolves prepare for their training session at Durban's Jonsson King's Park. Photo: @sunwolves on Twitter

DURBAN – Sharks CEO Gary Teichmann, has repeatedly said that his primary focus is to restore the famous Sharks rugby culture to the Durban-based side through the involvement of local business and the patronage of the fans.

He could have not got more local than the conclusion of a lucrative deal with Jonnson Workwear, who happen to have their headquarters at the iconic old Lion Match building in Umgeni Road that is adjacent to, wait for it, Jonsson’s Kings Park. Jonnson’s have bought the naming rights to Kings Park after the contract with Growthpoint expired.

You could throw a beer can from the back of the Presidents suite at Kings Park over the railway line and it would land on the roof of the Jonnson’s HQ. 

Nick Jonnson, who pointed out that his great grandfather emigrated to Durban in 1860, said that his family and his company are quintessentially Durban and 110 percent Sharks supporters.

Jonsson Workwear are a proudly Durban company, dating back to before Kings Park was built in the ‘50s, and while they are associate sponsors of the Lions (you will see the Jonnson logo on the back of the Lions jerseys), CEO Nick Jonnson does not see a conflict of interests.

“The decision to get involved with the Lions was purely a business decision, they are a winning team and we wanted to be associated with a winning brand, but we know that the Sharks are very serious about rebuilding themselves into the great Sharks eras of the past, and we want to be involved in that as a KZN brand. The decision to sponsor the Sharks was not just a business decision, but mostly an emotional one.”

Jonnson said that he is a proud Durbanite and is thrilled for his company to bond with another famous Durban brand. “People talk about Cape Town as the lovely city to visit; Johannesburg is the business capital of Africa, but what about Durban? 

Jonnson said. “We want people to talk about Durban as a city to visit, and I feel that us being a local Durban brand that has linked itself to the Sharks will hopefully have other local businesses bonding together to promote Durban and make it a key destination on the business and tourist map.”

* The Sharks face the Sunwolves at King’s Park tomorrow in their third Super Rugby clash of the season.


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