Over the past five years, no domestic cup has captured the hearts and minds of local football followers as Mascom Top 8 has. From major upsets and silky skills to catchy phrases such as ‘Re Ja 1 metre,’ and ‘Tse Di Tona’ to the now revamped catch phrase ‘1 meter for what? Re ja 1.2 Meter,’ Mascom Top 8 has thrilled thousands of football supporters. Both on and off the field, the tournament has been a success with bumper crowds filling stadia to witness Botswana’s best eight teams go head to head. And as has been the norm ever since inception, local football fans can expect more thrills as Botswana’s biggest cup tournament starts in less than a fortnight.
With improved prize monies for teams, the 2015/16 edition of the popular cup tournament promises to be as interesting as ever. The announcement of the across board prize money increment was made by Mascom Wireless Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jose Vieira Couceiro during the launch of this season’s Mascom Top 8 tournament held at Chez Nichola this past Wednesday. Launching the tournament, the Mascom Wireless CEO announced that the winner of this year’s 5th edition of the top 8 will walk away P1 200 000 richer, an increment of P200 000 from last year’s prize money. The increase in prize monies will likely heighten competition as teams jostle for what is the biggest paycheck in local football.
With just five games to play and more than a million pula prize money, the cup is the most lucrative. Speaking in a post launch interview, Couceiro said the increase in prize monies comes as Mascom seeks to make the tournament ‘bigger and better.’ “Every season we are growing, doing things better and you can see the results not only in Mascom Top 8 tournament but also in the league and national team,” the Mascom CEO said. Couceiro expressed happiness with how the supporters have embraced the tournament, adding that the company is happy with the mileage it gets from supporters. Meanwhile, Mascom Wireless will be seeking to enhance football supporters’ buy-in with a ‘range of services targeted at the supporters.’ According to the company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Dzene Makhwade-Seboni, the new services will include among others, SMS services such as the Mascom Top8 Trivia, predict-the-score competitions, game alerts which lets the fans who have subscribed know how each match is going as well as the Supporters’ Player of the Tournament which gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite Player of the tournament.
The Mascom CMO said this was taken in cognisant of the value they place on supporters. “In Mascom, we have a tagline that I am sure you all know. We are always cognisant and proud to say that we are: ‘Number one because of you.’ By ‘you’ we mean our customers, our staff, our partners and all our other stakeholders. Bagaetsho, this statement applies fittingly to the Mascom Top 8, tse di tona competition. Mascom Top 8 is Number one because of the Fans,” the Mascom CMO explained. The Mascom Top 8 will kick off on 29th October with a clash between top 8 debutants Orapa United and Extension Gunners, before Gilport Lions take on Mochudi Centre Chiefs the next day, Friday 30th October.