The Botswana Premier League (BPL) office is on the verge of concluding negotiations with its long standing partners, Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) and Mascom Wireless and there is enormous anticipation that the sponsors will commit once satisfied with terms and conditions of sponsorship, WeekendSport can reveal.
According to information reaching this publication, both BTC and Mascom have shown a keen interest in continuing to work with the elite league provided that BPL makes emotive promises to improve the vibe at the stadium. Mascom, who are the Top 8 sponsors are said to have agreed to increase the sponsorship – a development well received within the negotiation boardrooms.
It is said they have however made a clear and deep rooted demand that the games should be made interesting as the season commences. Sources say, Mascom had observed throughout the years that attendance at the games has been dwindling. “We are concerned about the vibe at the games, as sponsors we need value for money,” a highly placed source revealed.
It is reported that the premier league wanted to press Mascom to increase the sponsorship value from 6 million to 10 million pula. However, those close to developments have told this publication that Mascom argued that it can only go up to 8 million pula over a period of three years.
Premier league acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thabo Ntshinogang has all the while deflated attempts to solicit a more enriching comment from his office. Only saying, “At this stage, there is nothing to share, we are still negotiating, we will reveal details when everything is ready.”
BTC who are the headline sponsors, on the other hand, are also ready to sign a new deal, reports suggests. Meanwhile the sponsors are not entirely impressed by the local football product but are said to have also demanded that the league commit that they would up the game vibe this season. Although not proudly maintained at the negotiation table, BTC are said to be under excessive pressure to mount serious competition against Mascom. They, too, understand the need to up the sponsorship digits.
However, the premier league has dismissed that BTC is under any pressure, rather showering the title sponsors with praise saying “they are not here to compete but to help improve the standard of local football”. The Premier league has engaged consultants by the name Vivid Ltd to help seal these deals, reports say.
Mascom is the first network company to have ‘tested the waters’ by sponsoring local football. Before inking down a Top 8 contract in the summer of 2012, they were the main sponsors of the league in 2005. The company powered the league with P1.5 million over three years. With the Top 8, they started with a whooping 5 million pula sponsorship for another three years. When renewing in 2014, they increased it to P6 million. BTC has also left a lasting legacy with the local league. Although, time and again, the two parties battled issues of misunderstandings, a common ground was always reached.
Just after Mascom exited the football scene in 2008, BTC then trading as beMOBILE came with a sponsorship value of P5 million. Throughout the years, the sponsors always increased the sponsorship. In 2011-12, after the first contract expired, the local net work giants increased it to P8 million for another three years and in 2014, they reached the P10 million mark. As things stand, there is anticipation that both the league and BTC will again announce a P12 million sponsorship once negotiations are completed.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.