Township Rollers are on the verge of being an unstoppable force in soccer after securing sponsorship worth P150 000 from cellular giants, Orange. The sponsorship deal comes at an opportune time for Rollers because the transfer window is still open and the team might go on a shopping spree to buy players of their choice. The sponsorship runs for a period of a year and is subject to renewal when it expires.
It was all smiles and guffaws from Rollers managing director, Somerset Gobuiwang, who told Sunday Standard Sport that the money was going to be used to bolster the team.
“This is a good gesture from Orange and I hope our relationship with them will go a long way. I do not want to say the money is going to do this and that but it is going to help the team to succeed,” he said.
The sponsorship might even attract more players, because Rollers have already proven themselves as a passage to high paying professional ranks outside the country. Already, the team has exported four players to both South Africa and Cyprus in less than a year, and it would not be surprising if the team signs more good players.
Outgoing Orange chief executive officer, Thapelo Lippe, announced that they could have given Rollers more money, but budgetary constraints hampered their efforts. He did not rule out the possibility of Orange sponsoring other teams and even the league in future. Currently, Orange’s rivals, Mascom, sponsor the league. Lippe’s words might signal the beginning of tense rivalry between the two companies.
Rollers have been struggling in the Mascom Premier League and they have to triple their efforts if they are to win the league that eluded them last season. Even the prestigious Coca-Cola Cup eluded them to their hoodoo team Notwane last year.
However, Orange renewed their marriage with the senior national team, the Zebras, for another two years. In addition to the P2 million sponsorship, Orange has further popped out P1 million as players’ incentives.
Lippe called on the Zebras to put up sterling performances in upcoming games. He jokingly said when the Zebras defeated South Africa in last year’s COSAFA tournament, it was because of Orange. Lippe urged the Zebras to now forge ahead and defeat a team better than South Africa.