Springbok World Cup rugby captain, known worldwide for his meteoric rise from poverty in the impoverished Zwide township outside Port Elizabeth to win the Webb Ellis trophy defeating England 32-12, November 2019 final in Japan, Siya Kolisi (29) is the new member of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Siya’s influence goes far beyond the rugby field. Not only was he named “Most Influential Person in the World of Rugby”, he is also a United Nations global supporter of the Spotlight initiative which calls on men to end ongoing violence against women and girls.
A renowned SA rugby player, Kolisi has now joined several world-class Mercedes-Benz top athletes, including tennis legend Roger Federer, F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and golfer Rick Fowler.
Negotiated through Roc Nation Sports, his brand partnership will see Kolisi working with the luxury carmaker on several projects over the next 12 months.
Siya, who brought the Springboks back to number 1 rugby in 10 years and made history as the first black test player to lead a team in their 129-year history, devoted much of his time during the COVID-19 lockdown to developing the Kolisi Foundation, he has founded with his wife Rachel.
“I am delighted to be part of the Mercedes-Benz family. I am determined to work together with that goal, and I believe that Mercedes-Benz is a real asset to develop the Kolisi Foundation and very important to it.” Foundations can reach the poorest and most vulnerable people, said Siya.
Selvin Govender, Marketing Director of Mercedes-Benz SA, said Kolisi was the “perfect athlete” to represent the Mercedes-Benz brand. “Our brand ambassadors inspire pioneers, researchers, and success. They overcome obstacles and set new standards, and use their skills to achieve lasting success in a variety of projects.
Ambassadors tell stories and write history and inspire us to keep on reaching fresh paths and perspectives.,” he said.
Kolisi Foundation’s mission is to help fight extreme poverty, empower disadvantaged youth, and promote equality. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has fed over 25,000 families and, in partnership with organisations such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, provided essential PPE for frontline health workers.