Journalists and football enthusiasts have raised complaints to the Coca Cola marketing team about many flaws that characterise the tournament.
Sports journalists said there are many weaknesses in the way the Cup is being run that may negatively affect the company as well as players.
First, they complained about the lack or improper publicity. Journalists pleaded with the Coke team to desist from what they termed bush publicity.
They said Coca Cola, as a big company, has to pay for publicity, as the media cannot afford to carry its heavy load for free.
“The company should consider putting more advertorials in newspapers,” one journalist said.
The hot topic that also arose was that of price money. Many people believe the prize that the company is giving out is too little compared to resources that teams use to take part in the tournament.
All spoke in one voice that the aura that used to characterise the Coca Cola Cup is slowly fading away and, if the signs are not taken heed of, Coca Cola might find themselves edged out of sponsoring the cup as there are many companies lining up to sponsor football activities.
Sakaeyo Jane, of Radio Botswana, said the company should hurry to put more money into the tournament to wedge off competition.
“The bigger the money the better the quality,” he said.
There were complaints about the lack of excitement prior to the Coca Cola Cup tournament. Among the reasons for this development, they said, is the failure to drum up support before the match, and the non-existence of surprise prizes that used to be splashed around the country in every match.
Coca Cola was also urged to bring an element of social responsibility to its many sports projects.
Journalists advised the Coke team to start visiting orphanages or joining in clean up campaigns.
In his response, Sesupo Wagamang, of Coca Cola, said as a company and member of the team, he was worried that there were more weaknesses than strengths in staging the Coca Cola Cup.
“It is a big concern for us that after such a long time in our relationship with Botswana Football Association there are still no positives that can be clearly picked out, but rather flaws that can quickly be identified,” he lamented.
However, all was not gloom as the Coke Cup was praised for the opportunities it has given players and teams over the years.
The Cup was praised for being the only competition that avails teams with the opportunity of playing in continental campaigns and bringing football to remote areas.
The BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mooketsi Tosh Kgotele, advised that Coke should consider going beyond just staging the Cup competition.
“As sponsors of the Coke Cup, you have depots around the country. Some of the depots are more profitable than others and it will really be helpful if, for example, a depot in Selibe Phikwe could sponsor a team like FC Satmos or a lower league team,” Kgotlele said.
The sponsors were also warned of eminent threats that might end their partnership with the BFA.
The lack of television coverage was put down as a major threat to the Coke initiative as radio, though still effective, does not have visual power.
Lack of planning and predictability was a threat that was pointed out by Premier League Secretary General, Setete Phuthego.
Phuthego said the Coca Cola Cup used to be predictable as everybody new the finals would be played during the Trade Fair.
The Guest of Honour and Super Sport Marketing Manager, Pongo Liwewe, praised Coca Cola for its continued support of football.
Liwewe said Coke has played a major role in taking African football to international standards, and has spearheaded the marketing section of football in Africa.