Stanbic keeps Rollers guessing
First National Bank of Botswana(FNBB) have secretly expressed unwavering interest to become the next Township Rollers main shirt sponsors should the current sponsor, Stanbic Bank fail to agree terms on new deal- WeekendSport has been informed.
The partnership between Stanbic and Rollers is reportedly running on the last lap this season with negotiations for further renewal stalled. Sources indicate, however, that FNBB is monitoring development with keen interest and would like to unite with high flying Rollers. Other information also indicates that Stanbic Bank is eyeing for renewal although idling on time. They say FNBB is now used as ‘catalyst’ to keep Stanbic bank on their toes.
However, it is noted that Steven Bogatsu was spotted attending Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation (BTC) Charity Cup games last weekend in the midst of Rollers dignitaries, further fuelling speculation about the intention of the bank. Bogatsu is FNBB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Furthermore, Rollers this week show cased their new jerseys, but the club’s alternative kit was without the Stanbic logo. To some, this omission tells a story about Roller’s careful negotiations.
Stanbic bank became Township Rollers second shirt sponsors under club investor, Jagdish Shah. The first ever deal struck was with Capital Bank for 2014/15 season as the bank strived to improve its brand awareness. The bank was popping 1 million pula per season. At a time when Rollers welcomed Stanbic Bank in 2016, head of customer channels, Calistas Chijoro concurred that Popa is a colossal brand which they are proud to be associated with.
“Township Rollers is the biggest sporting institution in the country and we are pleased to be partnering with such a giant. Football is a language understood by all, and in this country, it gets no bigger than Rollers; record 13 times national champions, multiple winners of various cup competitions such as the old Coca Cola Cup and the Mascom Top 8,” Chijoro said. The bank is sponsoring Rollers at a tune of P 1.2 million per season. The deal over three seasons amounts to P3.6 million.
Rollers’ President who is also the chief negotiator was not available for comment as his team has jetted off to Uganda for the penultimate Confederation of African Football (CAF) tie against Kamapala Capital City Authority (KCCA). Rollers is languishing on the third spot, four points behind overwhelming favorites, Esperance of Tunisia and Al Alhy of Egypt.
In all spheres of reasoning, FNBB pipeline interest is regarded as a rival bid. But to Township Rollers, sources say it is still a welcome move for as long as it empowers and improves the fortunes of the club. It is said Rollers players will obviously open new accounts at the FNB bank and enjoy benefits that come along. FNBB is slowly entering the sport arena. In June of this year, the bank announced a deal of P3 million with Botswana Tertiary Student Sports Association (BOTESSA). The cash boost is to be used over the next three years.
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
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.”