Nike to clothe Botswana’s Olympic team
by Botlhale Koothupile
The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has secured sportswear producer, Nike, as the sports apparel and competition attire sponsor of Botswana’s Olympic team.
Under the agreement, the sportswear giant will clothe all of the country’s national teams that will compete at the London 2012 Olympics, due on the 27th of next month. Nike, who happens to be the sponsor of one of Botswana’s Olympic medal hopes and the reigning women’s 400 meters champion, Amantle Montsho, takes over from another sportswear giant, Puma, whose contract with the BNOC has come to an end.
Boniface Mabeo, BNOC’s Communications and Marketing Manager, said that the agreement with the sportswear giant will only be for the duration of the Olympic Games.
Under the agreement, Nike will provide Botswana’s Olympic team with an array of sportswear that is expected to include, among others, training apparel, tracksuits, bags and other necessities. Nike was awarded the short term contract to clothe the Olympic team ahead of two other sportswear manufacturers, All Kasi of Botswana and Panosports of China, who had also shown interest in clothing the team.
“These three companies had each approached us with an offer to clothe our national team. After careful considerations of the three suitors, we chose Nike as their offer was the best,” Mabeo said.
He added that while the other offers from both All Kasi and Panosports were attractive and were quality, Nike had put down an irresistible offer on the table.
Quizzed on whether the association of Nike and Montsho could have played a role in awarding the short term contract to Nike, he said that the company was given the contract based solely on the offer they had put before the BNOC.
“We are very happy with what Nike has offered us,” he said, adding that the three companies of Nike, All Kasi and Panosports were acting on a tender notice to apply to clothe the national team.
Mabeo pointed out that there was no tender and the BNOC had not approached any company to clothe the team ever since the lapse of the Puma sponsorship. He said that the three companies had approached the BNOC to clothe the Olympic national team on their own accord. In the long term, Mabeo said beyond the Olympics, the BNOC will seek a long term partner to clothe the national team.
He, however, said unlike now when they don’t have enough time left before the games, seeking a long term partner for the national team will be a thorough process. He says some of the things they will look at when looking for a long term partner will include gauging whether the sponsorship offered will be on par with the promotion value offered by the national team. Concerning their relationship with Puma, Mabeo said Puma had not approached the BNOC to renew their sponsorship. He said when the sponsorship with the sports giant ended, neither Puma nor the BNOC engaged to revive it.