Friday, December 3, 2021

Volleyball faces uncertain future as Mascom pulls out

After nine years of sponsoring the Mascom Volleyball League, telecommunications giants Mascom has plunged local volleyball into uncertainty after abruptly pulling the plug on its lucrative sponsorship. The Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) run league now faces an uncertain future following the sponsor’s decision not to renew the long running sponsorship. News of the non-renewal were disseminated through a press release from the communication giant this past Wednesday.  

“Year 2015 was the last year that we sponsored the Mascom Volleyball League. This marks the end of our partnership with Botswana Volleyball Federation and we wish to inform you that Mascom will not be renewing the Mascom Volleyball League sponsorship,” said Mascom in a press release.

BVF President, Daniel Molaodi confirmed the end of the sponsorship but said he does not know the reasons for the decision.

“We have received communication from Mascom Wireless informing us that they will not be renewing their sponsorship with us. They did not furnish us with the official reasons and as such we cannot speculate. Only Mascom can furnish such reasons,” the BVF President explained.

However, he disclosed that prior to the non-renewal of the partnership, Mascom had expressed ‘some concerns’ which they felt needed to be addressed if their partnership with the BVF was to be continued.

“We had signed a two year contract that ended in 2014. As usual, we made a proposal for a renewal of contract, but they did not want to enter into a new contract, instead opting to extend the sponsorship to cover 2015,” Molaodi explained.

He said some of the key reasons they were given for the non-renewal at the time were ‘shortage of media coverage as well as the issue of reduction of teams, more especially in the ladies’ section, something which Mascom felt may be compromising the extent of coverage countrywide.’ Molaodi however said in the short letter they received informing them of the non-renewal, Mascom did not reiterate any of their previous concerns.

The BVF President described the end of their partnership with Mascom as a ‘very big loss, considering where the two parties are coming from.’ He said ever since Mascom came on board as the league sponsors, volleyball has grown tremendously, which has had a positive impact on the national teams.

“Botswana Volleyball national teams have now become a force to reckon with both regionally and continentally. We will have to pull all the stops to make sure that the national leagues continue to run, even if we have to do it without a sponsor. We cannot do without a league. There is not much in terms of competitiveness in our zone. So, what has been key for us was the league because it was very strong. We must keep something along those lines as it will work better for us going forward,” said Molaodi.

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