Sunday, October 25, 2020

Where is the multimillion pula Premier League sponsorship?

The just ended three-year Premier League sponsorship by cellular giants, Mascom, undoubtedly changed the football landscape.

It brought excitement and joy and many supporters started thronging the games in numbers that were not seen before.
In turn, teams started taking in money they had never received in their existence. Some companies also started coming forward to sponsor local teams.
The moment the Mascom sponsorship was about to come to an end, rumours flew thick and fast within soccer circles that several companies were keen to topple Mascom with mouthwatering offers.

It was not surprising latter on when the Premier League was quoted as saying a new foreign company would take over the Premier league by offering sponsorship to the tune of about P65 million for three years.

Given the fact that the sponsorship was the first of its kind in Botswana, it was anticipated that this would take local soccer to another level. Excitement was high among Premier League teams because they knew that they would be cashing in and competition was going to be stiffer.
Even when the new Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee was officially introduced, it was announced that the sponsorship would be announced two weeks ago.

And now, two weeks later, nothing concrete has come up as to exactly what is happening with the sponsorship.
Some teams have expressed concern that the delay in the sponsorship announcement might derail their preparations because the date of the kickoff is also yet to be announced.
There are already rumours that the deal for the much anticipated sponsorship might have fallen through, leaving the Premier League hanging in the balance. There are even reports that the Premier League is, once again, courting Mascom because they are desperate. Contacted for comment, Premier League Secretary General, Setete Phuthego, referred Sunday Standard enquiries to the chairperson, Mokganedi ‘Mike’ Molefhe.
Molefhe, on the other hand, said they were still working on it and assured this paper that once everything is ready, they would reveal everything to the nation.

He added that, as the Premier League, they do not want to feed the nation with half cooked truth but would wait until everything has been sorted out.
“We truly understand the urgency of the announcement of the sponsorship especially looking at the fact that the season is about to start. But, currently, the focus is on the ongoing Coca Cola tournament and once we are done with it, hopefully, things will fall into place. I would like to appeal to the football lovers to be a bit patient because we are also still waiting optimistically for something positive,” he said. Molefhe also would not say if the initial anticipated sponsorship had fallen through or if there was something on the table.
He, however, made it clear that there is always a Plan B should the initial one fails to materialize.

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