Ahead of the then expected 2020 / 21 football season, Notwane FC club, affectionately known as ‘Makhete’ (yuppies) looked certain to have their swagger back.
The team had signed a two-year technical sponsorship deal with the fast-growing local clothing company MN Clothing.
Fully clothed from head to toe in yuppie style a little bit far from their original style of clothing all thanks to MN clothing, the Gaborone based club truly a set ahead.
Unfortunately, the world had a different plan as the Covid-19 pandemic decided to linger around for a little while longer, completely bringing to a halt not only football but the whole sporting industry in Botswana.
For Notwane FC and any other team which had launched season replicas, the suspension of activities meant they never got to actively wear the merchandise.
Now with the season cancelled, ‘Makhete’ will now either be forced to shelf their new kits away and await the return of football or make a new one to conclude their two-year deal with MN Clothing.
Commenting on this unusual situation, the president of Notwane FC Tebogo Sebego said as the 2020/21 season has been nullified, they are sure hopeful to get an opportunity to sit down and with MN Clothing to analyse their relationship and way forward.
“Since the 2020/21 season has been nullified, this obviously has implications on the commercial output of any product associated with the season. We still have sufficient opportunity to review our relationship. But so far so good,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, football analyst Kagiso Kgaogano said ‘Makhete’ may suffer big losses. He highlighted that the quantities of sold replicas will be the one showing how much the club has lost.
“Our Teams mostly tend to use same kits for one or two seasons and I believe Notwane might do the same depending on how fast their replicas will sell,” he said.
“Where a technical Sponsor is involved, you cannot launch a new kit when you still have a bulk of old merchandise in store,” said Kgaogano.
Adding that the National team ‘Zebras’ and the likes of Township Rollers are a perfect example on how selling merchandise controls which kit the team will use for the next season.
“When the new kits arrive, it is very expensive and along the way you see price dropping. This is done to push the sales and clear stock to prepare to bring in a new kit,” he said.
With regards to Notwane, he said he sees the prices of replicas dropping down due to their length of existence without being used.
In addition, the cost again will be determined by the cost of production which may force Notwane to sell at a loss when football returns.