Extension Gunners’ chairman, William Maboane, could not hold his excitement when his club launched a P1.2m partnership with local sportswear company, All Kasi, in Lobatse last week.
All Kasi will dress Mapantsula for the next two seasons in a deal which will be effective from November 1.
When it was his turn to make a speech, Maboane stood up and said; “Ola Ola Extension Gunners” and the crowd responded positively. His smile could be seen from a distance. While one would have thought that his smile was just an appreciation like anyone else from Gunners’ family, to Maboane launching the deal came as a relief to him.
Not long ago, Maboane was attacked by some of the club’s officials for not putting his weight behind the team instead focusing on his role as a treasurer at Botswana Premier League. In fact, recently, a Gunners official (name withheld) told this publication that Maboane lied to the committee and supporters that they will go into a partnership with All Kasi.
At the time, the official claimed that Maboane announced the sponsorship in a bid to swing people to his side. While he cannot receive the accolades alone for landing the sponsorship, it will go down in history books that the sponsorship came during his tenure.
“The partnership came at the right time for the club. This is a historic moment for us as a club and I want to believe that we will do everything in our power to ensure that we take care of this partnership. I also want to believe that this will serve as a motivation to the players this season,” said Maboane on Friday.
He did not want to dwell too much on those people who doubted that the sponsorship would come.
“We work as a team and if there is someone who did not believe it then it’s unfortunate. I would like to take this opportunity to thank All Kasi for having seen it fit to associate themselves with us. As a committee, we’re going to work hard to ensure we bring more companies to help grow the Gunners’ brand,” said Gunners’ boss. Maboane pleaded with Gunners’ supporters to buy the club’s replicas so that the sportswear company can also benefit. He said that All Kasi can only continue with the partnership if Gunners’ supporters are buying the merchandise. All Kasi managing director Lerato Kemoeng said that they decided to sponsor Gunners because they are one of the biggest sides in Botswana football and have huge history. He said that their partnership marks a new chapter in local circles and they are going to ensure that Gunners dress to the admiration of everyone.
“We decided to invest at Gunners because charity begins at home (All Kasi is based in Lobatse). Gunners also approached us and we saw it necessary to settle for them,” he said.
All Kasi will provide Gunners with 10 kits worth P253, 000 in a season. They will also give the club P20, 000 monthly grant and P5, 000 towards their development side. He said by partnering with Gunners, they are expecting an improved performance from them this season. He challenged the players to carry themselves well both on and off the field.
“We want to see Gunners as champions,” said Kemoeng to the delight of the supporters.
Gunners’ replicas will be sold at P300.