Professionalism key in luring sponsors

The NRSL, under the leadership of Martin Kweza, is attracting partners due to its professionalism.

CAPITAL, it is said, is a cowardly bird which flies to safer places where it expects to earn better returns.

The Zifa Northern Region Soccer League (NRSL) is showing other sister leagues how it is done by attracting capital into the game.

The NRSL, under the leadership of Martin Kweza, is attracting partners due to its professionalism. The latest partner to jump on board is LM Auctioneers who will sponsor the Player of the Month Award as well as the Player of the Year gong.

LM Auctioneers director Luis Muzhara said they were charmed by how the league is being run.

 “We said let us just come in and assist the Northern Region because I have seen some positive changes in the way they conduct their business over the years. I admired how they were operating over the last five years so I decided that let us just be part of it,” Muzhara said. 

Other partners for NRSL are Breakfront Car Hire (Goalkeeper of the Month and Year awards), Allied Insurance (Coach of the Month and Year awards) and Hitech Physiotherapy ( Top Goalscorer of the Month and Year), among others. The league is in talk with a main sponsor for NRSL and motor vehicles for the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, 18-team Challenge Cup and Top 8 Cup.

NRSL has been punching above its weight, with top players being given cars as part of the winning prize.

Such a feat is happening in an economy beset with challenges underscoring the need for professionalism to attract partners.

 Corporates want a return on their investments. They do not want to be associated with chaos, the hallmark of most local football clubs.

 There are so many corporates out there that would want to plough money in corporate social investment programmes like sponsoring sport.

 However, they are chased away after seeing the few that had taken the plunge coming out with burnt fingers.

 We feel the officiating we have witnessed in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and response by the fans cast a bad image on the sport which will affect sponsorship.

 Two Castle Lager Premier League coaches will next week appear before a disciplinary committee for allegedly bringing the game of football into the disrepute. Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe and his Chicken Inn counterpart Joey Antipas recently said that local referees had reduced the league into a “comic show” following their respective teams' matches.

 Football stakeholders must sit down and address the concerns in an amicable manner. The world over, football is big business and one of the largest employers. This has seen companies stampeding to sponsor clubs and players, leveraging on the pulling power of the beautiful game.

 Sponsors, like capital, however, flee from corruption, bad policies and conflicts.

Hats off to the NRSL which has shown that capital can follow football. There is no substitute for professionalism.

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