Cellular network provider, be-Mobile, has once again done it by splashing P24 million for the Premier League.
The sponsorship was launched at the Main Mall on Monday morning. The money will be used for the coming three seasons, meaning that each season the Premier League will receive a whooping P8 million.
The P24 million sponsorship comes at a time when the initial contract of be-Mobile was coming to an end in about four months. The initial sponsorship was P15 Million for three years and the current one means be-Mobile increased the sponsorship by 60 percent.
Seventy percent of the sponsorship money will go directly to teams while the remaining percentage will be for administrative purposes.
The major difference with previous sponsorship is that teams will be given mobilisation fees of P100 000 at the beginning of every season.
Also champions that will represent Botswana in continental competitions will be given P200 000.
These are major developments because teams have been crying that they were spending too much money for league matches than what they were getting from the prize money.
Also it came as a huge relief for participation in continental competitions because several teams in the past withdrew, citing financial difficulties. With money guaranteed from be-mobile, football in Botswana is set to grow even further because teams will be participating almost every year. Regular participation in Club African competition is seen as a major driving force behind the excellent performance of North African teams.
On the other hand, prize money for the teams at the end of every season has not changed. The champions will still get P1 million. Another interesting development in the new sponsorship is the fact that they will be using some players, namely Sekhana Koko, Kabelo Dambe (Township Rollers) and Ofentse Nato of Gaborone United as their brand ambassadors.
be-Mobile promised that the players will be empowered both economically and socially.
The acting Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, Keabetswe Segole, said their main objective is to raise the football standard in Botswana.
“In partnership with the Botswana Football Association and the Botswana Premier League, our mission is to raise the standard of football in our country to match and perhaps even surpass regional standards. With our sponsorship of the league, we have made real and tangible progress and seen more players than ever before attract the attention of professional teams outside the country,” he said.
Segole also said their sponsorship of the Premier League has had a great influence on the performance of the national team. He said there is no way the national team can do better if there is no improvement at club level. “Our national team cannot do well if at club level we are struggling to perform. We feed the national team by the good standards that we have developed over the years,” he said.
Since be-Mobile came on board, Gaborone United and Township Rollers tasted the first prize money. This season Rollers look on course to do it again even though Mochudi Centre Chiefs are close on their heels.