World Cup-winning Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi, globally recognised for his meteoric rise from adverse poverty to lifting the Webb Ellis trophy in November 2019, has been named as the newest addition to the Mercedes-Benz family.
Negotiated via Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
The partnership will see Kolisi collaborating with the luxury carmaker on a range of projects in the coming 12 months.
Kolisi, who led the Springboks back to the number 1 rugby rankings in 10 years and making history as the first black test player to captain the team in its 129-year history, dedicated significant time during the Covid19 lockdown to the development of the Kolisi Foundation which was founded alongside his wife Rachel.
The mission of the Kolisi Foundation is to help alleviate extreme poverty, mentor underprivileged youth and promote equality.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Foundation has fed more than 25,000 families and provided vital PPE to front-line health workers, collaborating with organizations such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“I’m delighted to be part of the Mercedes-Benz family. I am committed to partnering with purpose and I truly believe that Mercedes-Benz can be a real asset to the development of the Kolisi Foundation, and critical to the Foundation reaching the most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities,” said Kolisi.
Kolisi’s influence extends well beyond the rugby field. Apart from being named ‘The Most Influential Person in Rugby’ by Rugby World last month, he is also a United Nations Global Advocate, fronting Spotlight Initiative – calling on men to stop perpetuating violence against women and girls.
Kolisi joins a range of elite athletes around the world who are friends of the brand for Mercedes-Benz, including tennis legend Roger Federer, F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, and golfer Rickie Fowler.
Mercedes-Benz SA marketing director Selvin Govender said Kolisi was ‘the perfect athlete’ to represent the Mercedes-Benz brand.
“Our brand ambassadors are inspiring pioneers, explorers, high achievers. They overcome barriers and set new standards. They use their abilities to achieve enduring success in diverse projects. They tell stories and write history, and inspire us to continuously take on new paths and perspectives. Siya ticks each and every one of those boxes,” he said