The South African Sponsorship Association (SASA) has been launched. The organisation, a new regulated body, will seek to inspire, educate and raise standards within the sponsorship industry.

According to the press release sent to Bizcommunity, SASA will strive to lead the industry through activities relating to; policy, governance, corporate responsibility the provision of information and networking. It has been created to protect sponsors against unregulated sponsorship agencies and other non-sponsorship agencies doing ‘sponsorship work’ who may bring the industry into disrepute.

Membership to join SASA which is now open with a number of benefits, will be limited to sponsors, agencies and their members. Agencies will need to derive 51% of their income from sponsorship work to qualify as members.

The membership will provide business with an opportunity to improve, will assist in the nurturing and development of talent, regular communication with the latest industry news, providing regular network opportunities through events and shared contact details as well as providing specialist sponsorship information, case studies, research and evaluation.

In addition, SASA is proposing to host an annual sponsorship awards that will be presided over the industry by the industry. It will be positioned as the only official sponsorship awards recognized by the industry body.

The awards will be judged through a panel of industry personnel with each agency that is part of SASA able to nominate a judge. A chairman of judges, who will be unable to vote, will be appointed to oversee the process and all voting will be done either electronically or online. SASA chairman Sandile Ndzekeli said, “The association is important for the industry to grow and develop higher standards in daily practice.”