BMW SA has become one of the sponsors of South Africa's 2010 World Cup Bid, managing director Ian Robertson said this week.

BMW SA has become one of the sponsors of South Africa's 2010 World Cup Bid, managing director Ian Robertson said this week.

The Rosslyn-based manufacturer on Thursday announced that it had become the official transport provider to the 2010 World Cup Bid Committee for the remainder of the two-year campaign. The winning host nation will be announced in May next year.

Robertson said soccer was a new territory for the company in terms of sponsorship, but it was confident the bid would succeed: "For BMW, soccer is a new sport to sponsor. We have traditional links with golf and motor sport. We jumped at the chance to sponsor the bid."

BMW will provide two 745i and three 530i models for the bid campaign. It will also provide additional cars for the visit by the Fifa (soccer’s world governing body) inspection team, which will arrive in SA early next year when the bid race intensifies.

The handover ceremony of the cars was attended by Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour, Ghanaian soccer legend Abedi Pele, former Bafana Bafana star Phil Masinga, Sundowns managing director Nastasia Tsichlas, Cosmos boss Jomo Sono and Ismail Bhamjee, the president of the Council of Southern African Football Associations.

Balfour said he was pleased that SA had recovered from the disappointment of narrowly losing the 2006 World Cup to Germany and was now making a fresh challenge.