Sunday, May 22, 2022

BOBA racing against time to source sponsor

The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA)’s long term partnership with Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) has come to an end, leaving the association in dire need of a sponsor ahead of its annual championships.

The championship, which was popularly known as Keone Mooka Mageu tournament, is now likely to go ahead without sponsorship should no sponsor come on board before it begins at the end of this month.

The tournament, which is billed for Gaborone on October 30, has always been the springboard to launch prospective national team players.

Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, BOBA spokesperson, Willoughby Kemoen, said the end of the sponsorship has come about as a result of the economic downturn as well as other financial situations faced by the sponsor.

The BOBA spokesperson is, however, of the feeling that KBL will not be lost to the sport as both parties have agreed to sit down next year to see if it is possible to rekindle the relationship.

Kemoen expressed gratitude at KBL saying their nine years partnership has been very fruitful.
“This tournament has contributed a lot to the development of boxing locally and its products are the ones that make the core of the national team,” Kemoen informed The Telegraph.

Apart from the Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) grant to boxing, KBL has been the only sponsor BOBA had had.

From humble beginnings of the P20 000 sponsorship in 2001, Keone Mooka Mageu tournament sponsorship had grown to P125 000 by 2009 and is by far the biggest sporting event in the BOBA calendar.
Boasting of its own live television coverage, courtesy of Botswana Television’s acquisition of broadcasting rights as well as wide media coverage, whichever sponsor comes on board will be inheriting a well established brand that gives value for money.

Kemoen says, with this in mind, BOBA is now in negotiations with some marketing companies to help them in issues of negotiating sponsorships. While in the past BOBA had elected to pass the broadcasting rights to their sponsor (KBL), the BOBA spokesperson says they have now resolved that the association be in control. He, however, says BOBA does not regret passing over their broadcast rights to their sponsors in the past, adding that the arrangement worked well for his association.

“The rewards of that sponsorship far much outweigh the money we could have got from selling the broadcasting rights. Through that sponsorship, we have produced a lot of quality boxers. There are even many young upcoming boxers who are hungry to be in the team who are also products of the Keone Mooka Mageu sponsorship,” Kemoen told The Telegraph. Still on the issue of the tournament, Kemoen says the athletes currently competing at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi will be among boxers taking part in the tournament come the end of this month.

Winners of the tournament are expected to then take part in the “Best of the Best” tournament and are considered for the national team, something which makes the tournament even difficult as it gives any boxer a chance to win the national team call up. Kemoen says while the boxers taking part in the tournament are eyed to make the London 2012 Olympic team, every boxer has a chance to earn a call up and this tournament gives them the platform to show their capabilities.

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