NetOne must come to the party

LAST week witnessed a new football partnership between BancABC and Mbada Diamonds as the two companies teamed up to support Dynamos in the Caf Champions League this season.

NewsDay Editorial

BancABC are the principal sponsors of Dynamos, Highlanders and Black Mambas and have recently donated a kit to Premiership debutantes Tripple B. As such, they hold the negotiating rights for the first three teams when it comes to branding of jerseys.

Mbada Diamonds are the sponsors of the richest knockout competition in the land, the Mbada Diamonds Cup. Their prize money carries a $150 000 subsidy for the team that represents Zimbabwe in the Champions League.

But for Dynamos to get that money, Mbada has to negotiate with BancABC and the bank, not in competition with the diamond mining company, duly accepted the co-branding proposal and the marriage was brought to light.

Dynamos now have no worries about their kit, accommodation, allowances and air tickets to Lesotho and Tunisia or even hosting a team and paying the match officials. They must just get the results from the field of play.

This is the power of partnerships that we need in football — no entity can successfully go it alone.  When companies are not in competition, they had better team up for a good cause and this is why we believe NetOne must follow the cue.

Even when teams are in competition, surely an amicable arrangement can be found like in England where the league is sponsored by Barclays and Liverpool are bankrolled by Standard Chartered.

In Zimbabwe this year, we are sure there is not going to be a problem when the BancABC Super Eight starts as FC Platinum are sponsored by FBC Bank.

NetOne are the sponsors of the annual Charity Shield and there is no doubt that Dynamos and Highlanders will be voted in by fans to participate. With this in mind, and football partnerships at heart, the mobile company must agree to a co-branding of the kits.

BancABC has clearly demonstrated that it is able to work with other corporates and so NetOne must relax and give Dynamos their $50 000 prize money from last year and start on a clean slate.

That they want to give players a token of appreciation does not fuel good relations as Dynamos can simply institute bigger disciplinary measures against any player who accepts that token as it comes outside the players’ contract with the club.

There has to be a holistic approach to all this instead of pulling individual players into the mess.

Football in Zimbabwe’s depressed economy can only succeed through partnerships as we have also seen with other companies like Nyaradzo coming to the fore with the Warriors to support Mbada’s efforts.

No doubt, this will create a bigger, more professional and more competitive brand for local football that can take football to new heights.

We need closer co-operation between companies for their own social responsilibility programmes and the growth and development of the game, coupled with reasonable, educated and professional leaders.

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