On this day 15 years ago one truly memorable event began – the 1995 Rugby World Cup that was held in South Africa. This event was memorable for many reasons – it showed the world that South Africa is on the right track; that the apartheid is a thing of the past and that one truly magnificent man is leading the country.

Last year Clint Eastwood made a movie Invictus in which he showed us the events before and after the World Cup in South Africa (you can read James Berardinelli’s review here and here’s Marcel Stefancic jr.'s review for Slovenian readers). A few weeks ago I got a hint that several sponsors could be seen in the movie and I should check whether they are the same as they were in 1995.

After watching the movie and the final game of the tournament, I could say that a lot main sponsors that were present in 1995 also found a place in the movie. Those sponsors are:

  • Visa
  • Heineken
  • Coca-Cola
  • Xerox
  • Toyota
  • The Famous Grouse
  • SAA (South African Airways)
  • Flemings
  • Iscor
Sponsors of the 1995 Rugby World Cup - captured in the movie Invictus (2009, Warner Bros., screen capture)

But there is one sponsor that was seen in the final, but is not a part of the movie – cigarettes brand Gauloises Blondes. Could it be because of the cigarettes? Were C

lint Eastwood and other

producers afraid of some negative campaign or just decided that removing Gauloises Blondes from the movie is a safe bet?

Final game of the 1995 Rugby World Cup (1995, screen capture)

There is however a scene in the movie that could cause some controversy. After Springboks (South African rugby team) lost yet another game, their captain Francois Piennar (Matt Damon) forced his teammates to drink a really awful beer. Can you smell the trouble?

Piennar: “Boys, I'd like to propose a toast…To the taste of defeat. Drink it. Remember this. And promise yourself, never to taste it again.”

Piennar’s teammate: “You're right. It tastes like shit.”

After they drunk a few sips of the beer, all of them threw the cans against the walls.

A can of Brockman beer in the movie Invictus (2009, Warner Bros., screen capture)

Can you imagine what would happen if Springboks drunk for example Heineken or local favourite Castle lager? To avoid any trouble Eastwood & co. decided to use a beer prop that was provided by the company ISS (Independent Studio Services).

So, Brockman beer was chosen in order to avoid problems with major beer brands. Wise move? Hm, we could’ve seen that Springboks' major sponsor was Lion beer (Lion beer logo was present on their rugby jerseys), so how could they've been drinking anything other than the Lion beer? Yes, wise and most of all: safe move.