Botswana’s football spectacle which used to answer to the name Coca Cola Tournament will be born again in January next year ÔÇô and it promises to be “the real thing” in all but name.
The Football Association Cup currently has no name because two of Botswana’s corporate giants are fighting for the naming rights of the national tournament that is expected to be a huge brand draw card.
Sunday Standard Sports has established that Orange Botswana and Barclays Bank Botswana have shown interest in sponsoring the tournament and are fighting to have their names preface the cup tournament. Both potential sponsors have a football sponsorship pedigree that can be traced to some of the biggest football extravaganzas in the world.
Barclays Botswana is a subsidiary of Barclays International which has long seen the value of sponsorship as part of its business strategy and has come to be synonymous with the British Premier League. Orange on the other hand has been associated with UEFA EURO 2016 and the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The two companies are reported to have engaged a Public relations firm to help them resolve their naming rights tussle. Barclays is understood to be planning a major re-brand to ABSA and are hoping to hitch their campaign on the coat-tails of the Football Association Cup. The banking giant is expected to go on a major re-branding exercise towards the end of the year.
BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo told Sunday Standard Sport that the deal with sponsors is almost done and the FA cup is expected to move from the drawing board to the football pitch soon. “We are talking to two sponsors who have brought forward their proposals and it is up to the BFA National Executive Committee to make a decision. The BFA NEC is meeting in the second week of October to look at the two proposals and that is when the way forward will be taken” Mfolo said.
Mfolo would not disclose the identities of the two sponsors save to say the public will invited to the event where the FA tournament will be launched with a name.
“We are expecting the tournament to start in January because there is a lot that needs to be done prior to the start of the tournament. There is need for activations to lobby public to get aware of the coming tournament” explained Mfolo.
The FA tournament will be played by teams across all leagues in the country. The tournament proved to be a nail biting experience with smaller teams from junior leagues causing major upset by beating some supper league now premiership teams. The FA tournament fizzled out in 2006 after Kgalagadi Breweries which sponsored the spectacle through its Coca Cola brand pulled out.
The winner of the FA tournament will have the privilege of representing the country in the continental CAF confederations cup tournament. Currently the winners of the premier league Mascom Top 8 tournament represent the country in the confederations cup.