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BPL prize money shrinks

Botswana Premier League board has agreed unanimously to decrease the league’s prize money after the league lost more than half P8 million in sponsorship following acrimonious decision by title sponsor, Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation (BTC).

BTC are the current title sponsors of the elite league and signed a 3 year contract with Botswana Football Association (BFA). The two parties had agreed on a P39 million sponsorship that was to expire next year. The deal was worth P13 million per season, but the value has since plummeted to P5 million this season. The move therefore means the ultimate league winners will no longer get a whooping P 1.2 million as it has been the case for the past 5 seasons. It is rather indicated that the champions will go home a paltry P 600 000.

However, clubs are asked to remain calm under the storm as partners will be coaxed to at least augment the clubs’ monthly grants.  The BFA has already announced a new partnership with Barclays bank-soon to be renamed to ABSA- to help close the widening gap as BTC thinks to pull back. However clubs continue to cry foul that the grants that come with this sponsorship fall short to assist in their daily administration and as such the reduction will even make matter worse. According to the initial agreement, clubs were getting P35 000 as mobilization grants over a period of 8 months.

BFA says it is eager to increase the monthly grants with the arrival of Barclays sponsorship. Early in February of this year, BTC had drawn the BFA/BPL to clause 5.1 of the Agreement, in which the BFA undertook to operate the Premier League in accordance with renowned international best practices.

BTC is said to have been deeply concerned by the constant negative publicity incurred by BPL and its structures regarding the mother body’s management of football. It is said the recent developments damaged the reputation of the BTC brand as the main sponsor of the Premiership. Before chopping down the finances, BTC had raised three issues they feel BFA and BPL have seriously neglected.

BTC says it was grossly offended by the issue of e -ticketing. It is said that there was an agreement to the effect that the sponsors will get 5 Pula for each ticket sold by premier league clubs. Recently, the clubs have not been using the system and this has obviously harmed BTC’s supposedly income. Moreover, the sponsors had wanted to see their logo appearing on the match day tickets.

The second matter raised by the sponsors is of television rights. BTC is annoyed that BFA is dangerously trampling upon the terms and conditions of the contract. BTC clearly states that they agreed with BFA that a total of 60 games will be televised in a season, but to this date, this has not been happening. It is speculated, however, that only one third of the games have been televised.

The broadcasting issue comes afar. BFA has all the years cried foul that Btv lacks capacity to satisfy their partners’ demands and often times, they find themselves negotiating with their hands tied at the back as there is only one television station in the country. BTC has further complained that agreements reached concerning the BTC Charity Cup have not been reached to this far end.

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Sport

Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Sport

Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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Sport

AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”

HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?

By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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