All kasi on BFA radar-again
Tsa gae clothing label company trading as All Kasi is tipped to be the next technical sponsor of Botswana Football Association (BFA) for the second time in the last five years, WeekendSport has been told.
The clothing company and BFA seemingly have buried the hatchet and now gearing for another working relationship. An announcement is expected to be made this coming September as procurement procedures are still being undertaken.
It is reported that the Lobatse based company is on pole position to reunite with the association after the two parties’ relations brusquely ended in late 2012, when the BFA chose Umbro to dress the national team over All Kasi.
While sources could not reveal other names of interested clothing companies, it is highly maintained that All Kasi is leading the pack. Sources continue to point out that the local company that was booted amidst emotional decisions is prepared to let sleeping dogs lie.
All Kasi’s deal to dress the national time ended at a crucial time when the Zebras had just qualified for the AFCON 2012. The two parties were embroiled in a public brawl with the Marketing Manager of All Kasi Mokaedi Maplanka consequently, wrote a scathing letter to media houses criticising BFA and the way the matter was handled. The BFA at that time was under the leadership of David Fani and was seen to be battling somewhat, an identity crisis.
The company, exited BFA having raised a total of P700 000 from the sale of Zebras merchandise jerseys they designed. They ruffled many feathers when they asked that the money be directed to players and not the BFA coffers.
A lot of pundits were at that against the sacking of the local company.
The company renewed their interest to continue sponsoring the national football teams after their first contract expired, but tender documents later revealed that the association had their minds set on current sponsor, Umbro albeit All Kasi scored the highest points. Reports later indicated that they had requested for a ‘special partnership’ which was not part of the tender requirement.
However, both Umbro and BFA have endured a torrid time with time. The association believed that the international label was ripping them off as, according to the terms of the contract, the technical sponsors were allowed to sell and distribute replica jerseys for themselves.
In return the association was to get 8-9% as its beneficiation. This caused a major strain in their relationship although the Sebego led regime was to later reverse some of the contract specifications for the common good of both parties.
Director of the Clothing label, Ludo Kemoeng was cagey about the details although he conceded that they submitted to bid. “Yes, we have shown interest by way of tendering, and that is all I can say,” he said.
The current BFA leadership is believed to be a well-known admirer of the clothing label, and that alone is a factor tilting scales in All Kasi favours. Notwithstanding this, the newly appointed BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kitso Kemoeng when reached for comment, refused to dwell much on the issue putting forward one reason.
“First you must know that I was not there when the process of inviting potential sponsors began, and even if I was available, I will have excused myself because one of the potential sponsors involves family ties,” he disclosed.
All Kasi has sponsored the Zebras at a time when no company was willing to support it because they were not doing well. They sponsored the national team for three years and when the deal ended in 2012, the BFA instead of negotiating for a new deal opted for a tender, something that had not been done before All Kasi came on board.
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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.”