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BNSC fund raising stirs branding wars


The Botswana National Sports Council’s (BNSC) desperate endeavor to raise money has coerced them not to think twice when the mobile network giant, Mascom, tabled an offer to buy space at the National Stadium’s eastern stands popularly known as ‘Pandamatenga’. This however, has sparked a branding brawl war among the three mobile competitors.


BNSC which has been given landlordship of the stadium by the government through the Ministry of Infrastructure Science and Technology (MIST) agreed within a blink of an eye with Mascom, to mount the mobile operator’s banners at the stadium, something which has not been welcomed by many within the sporting fraternity.


WeekendSport understands that the development was aimed at earning revenues for the sports body to meet the cost demands of daily activities at the stadiums such as maintenance, security since the government no longer assists in those cost areas.


The accelerated agreement has attracted a lot of negative criticism from various sports commentators as they feel it was ‘ill-informed and rushed, without looking at the pros and cons of the agreement’. They posit that will for the time being disadvantage the Botswana Premier League (BPL) and their stakeholders. The elite league which is sponsored by the direct business rival to Mascom, Be mobile, means that the Premier league games could not be staged at the stadium ‘because it would give their competitors mileage they envisage through their (be mobile) product’.


This has been corroborated by the recent category A games that had to be moved to Molepolole, which were initially scheduled to be played at the 22,000 seater National Stadium. Most of the teams have the bulk of their supporters in Gaborone and playing the games outside the capital city has proven to be liability to them as they still survive by among other things, gate-takings. This is said to have rubbed the league sponsor the wrong way as they feel they are used as sacrificial lambs, more especially after the lengthy negotiations which at the end forced them to release the whopping P30 million to the league, they contend that they should be taken serious.


The impasse also means that the senior national football team could not use the facility as they are also supported by another mobile network giant Orange. This publication is aware that the company has shared their grievances to BFA after the Zebras AFCON qualifiers tie against Egypt where the Mascom banners where in full display. Currently the poles of the floodlights are also branded by another Zebras sponsors; Banc ABC, the question is what is going to happen should another bank show interest in the local football?


However, the former BNSC CEO Kitso Kemoen, is of the view that the Sports Council could have communicated with all the stakeholders involved. ‘’We all know that they should sustain themselves and advertising is one of the method they could use to source out funds, but they could have dialoged with other stakeholders and find a common ground.’’ WeekendSport is reliably informed that the two parties, BPL and BNSC, will soon get into the boardroom to discuss the issue and try to come up with an amicable solution which ultimately, is expected to benefit the game.


Some observers however, are asking why this hullaballoo now because in the past various companies were sold spaces in the stadium? ‘’ Nowadays, things have changed; it is not like in the past, people must remember we were once in the same situation during the Castle Cup and we managed to iron it out; the remedy is communication,’’ advised Kemoen.


The national stadium was closed in 2008 for refurbishment for teams that would want to use the facility as a training ground ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South-Africa but unfortunately, it only was re-opened last year. Efforts to speak to the BNSC Chairman Solly Reikeletseng and CEO Thato Kgosimore were futile as they were out of the country at a time of going to print.

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Mason Greenwood attempted rape charges dropped

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The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

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