|Clubs and Sponsorships|
|Thursday, 17 March 2011 12:30|
Deals sealed, deals broken. This is what has characterized the Kenya Premier League (KPL) clubs in the recent past. While others land on lucrative deals others lose, altogether while for others, their fate hangs on a balance. Kenyanstar writer FRANCIS ONTOMWA looks into the whole question of sponsorships in the premiership and files some perspectives in this first part of Clubs and sponsorships.
Rangers FC one of the favourites to kpl 2011 according to pundits, lost their sponsorship deal with Posta. While this was happening however, others seemed to be enjoying great deals as they woo sponsors here and there.
in what appears as the battle for lucrative corporate deals, Gor Mahia Football Club is the latest Kenya Premier League (KPL) club to secure what pundits call a money-spinning sponsorship deal. Tuzo, a Dairy product brand by Spin Knit Dairy Limited Company has rolled out sponsorship to the club with arguably the largest following in the country to a tune of Ksh. 15 million.
According to the club’s website, details of the deal will be released soon however, it is apparent that the club is now set to launch its new jerseys. The team’s new kit will be unveiled on the last day of March and sources reveal that it is likely going to don green, white and blue colours, colours associated not only with the team but also with the brand.
Club popularity seems to be the driving force here as corporate bodies contemplate on placing their cash in clubs. Last season one of Kenya’s oldest clubs and with one of the largest following countrywide, AFC Leopards secured a Ksh. 1 million sponsorship deal with Mumias sugar Company with two matches left to be played.
At the time, the club popularly known as Ingwe was undergoing trying moments with players going for months without pay. The desperate moments sparked the hearts of their die-hard fans to start an online funds drive to settle the player’s allowances, however their efforts went west.
The last minute deal that was seen by many as an indication of a possible avenue for a much greater relationship between the two parties, lived to its billing. Mumias Sugar Company Limited Chief Executive Officer Evans Kidero sent an early message that the company was in discussion with the club for a long term working relationship when the first deal was stroke. He was quoted in the media as saying that the company was on its mission to support and bolster efforts laid down to promote sports.
It was apparent that Mumias Sugar was not going to stop at that, it was also keen to pull AFC’s home base to Mumias Complex, one of Kenya’s best furnished stadiums. AFC played their remaining matches of the season from this backyard after Football Kenya Limited (FKL) banned Nyayo and City Stadiums. Although, AFC Leopards had been dogged with elections wrangles in the recent past, Mumias seemed optimistic that this will be over the hump and things will quell. Just recently it stated clearly that it was not going to withdraw its 15million sponsorship for the season.
It will be interesting to follow this time round if AFC will stand the test of times this season in their groundbreaking match of the season at the mumias complex pitch as they face Sher Karuturi at this venue for the second time. This is just among the many matches scheduled to be staged here. The club went down by a solitary goal to Karuturi when they met last season at the same venue.
While AFC Leopards was soliciting and drafting its contract deal with Mumias Sugar Company, another club was putting its house in order. Mathare United on the other hand were among the biggest beneficiaries of club sponsorship this year. The club managed to secure double sponsorship. Insurance company Real Insurance gave the club a three year sponsorship worth Ksh. 5 million. The deal was the second for the Community based team after security firm G4S also threw their weight behind the club with a whooping Ksh.10 million deal early this year.
The symbiotic relationship will see Mathare don their jerseys with the two sponsor’s logos and the companies are set to benefit from branding and merchandising rights for all Mathare United’s matches.
According to club officials, the deal is likely to see players enjoy better allowances and facilitation. In the deal, both the players and club officials will benefit from a comprehensive health insurance program.
KCB FC head coach Leonard Saleh hails the role played by club sponsors in raising the standards of football in the country. The tactician believes the premiership standards are getting better and better and corporate bodies should not be left out in leaving their mark. “ It is encouraging that everyone now seems to realize the fact that Kenyan football and especially club football is getting out of the woods, more sponsors should therefore come and support it” he says.
KCB FC that has continued to enjoy sponsorship from the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) since the club’s inception in the year 1997, has grown in leaps and bounds. The bank covers the team’s cost of transport, accommodation, training equipments and facilities in addition to meeting the player’s daily allowances.
The club entirely depends on the sponsor in catering for all their programs and except for gate collection; it lacks an income generating venture. The deal’s terms and condition requires that it is renewed every year and this according to coach Saleh, makes it difficult to predict the future.