Mmegi Blogs :: Letís get this sponsorship issue over and done with
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Last Updated
Monday 19 November 2018, 13:52 pm.
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Letís get this sponsorship issue over and done with

The uncertainty and endless speculations with regards the Premier League main sponsor refuses to go away. These speculations, which are making stakeholders jittery, will continue until a deal is signed or until someone shares information as to the progress of the negotiations with those that are interested. Who can forget the marathon speculations with regards the 1st Division sponsorship. It created a lot of uncertainty and made many lose faith in the League and the mother body.
By Thuso Palai Thu 19 Jun 2014, 23:41 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Letís get this sponsorship issue over and done with








The beMobile Sponsorship of the Premier League elapsed at the end of the 2013/2014 season and negotiations between the Premier League and the mobile company are said to be on-going. Apparently the negotiations have been going on for some time now. The fact that the contract was just let to run down without being signed before it even ended stroked some murmurs, with some quarters insinuating that the two parties are not happy with each other and would rather part. However, this has been refuted by the two parties and their story, which they have stuck to, is that they are still in negotiations. But for how long, one would ask? I just wonder what could be the problem for the two parties who have been in a relationship to take so much time negotiating an extension.

Surely it cannot be the issue of money.  But to just state a few observations, although the two parties would readily deny; it seems like the two parties are not happy with each other. beMobile is said to be unhappy with how the BPL run its affairs and how some things have been done. This was not helped by the much talked about TV rights issue that all but brought the soccer season, the BPL and the sponsor into disrepute.

Since then, the relations have seemingly soured and as much as they would like to work together, some within the entities are a bit tentative. beMobile would not want to lose the sponsorship rights and then have one of their rivals come and take over, while the BPL would not want to lose the beMobile sponsorship and then be left with no one to take over. Both are biding their time and keeping their options open.

This is not however helping to ease the anxiety of the BPL, beMobile, the Premier League teams and even the football followers. All we are left with is to speculate. As much as we can sugar coat the situation, it is not ideal. At this point in time, we should be looking ahead to the new season and putting in place measures to ensure that we have a successful season. Notwithstanding that, maybe the BPL has an

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ace up their sleeves and they will reveal a bumper sponsorship in the near future. I wait with baited breathe.  

As things stand, there seems like there is no definite decision on whether beMobile will renew the contract, but at face value it seems like there is something that we are not aware off that is delaying the signing of an extension. It is natural that beMobile be given first option to renew and the Premier League have in the past stated that the mobile company will get first option, although they will listen to other offers. For that courtesy, I commend the BPL.

There has been sustained speculation that another mobile company Mascom and Financial bank Barclays Bank are waiting on the wings and could pounce if the BPL and beMobile do not reach an agreement. These speculations have however been dismissed; which is expected. I know for a fact that the BPL is keeping its options open, even though they would not readily admit that they are also looking at their options. Both Mascom and Barclays Bank are currently involved in Botswana football, sponsoring the Mascom Top 8 and the Kabelano Cup respectively. However, if given the opportunity I’m pretty sure they would be jump at the chance to sponsor the League which is more high profile and commands a larger and more sustained followership over a longer period.   

It is rather disturbing that negotiations can go on for such a long time while the 2 parties have been in a relationship. The negotiations should have started atleast 6 months before the contract elapsed so that if they do not come to an agreement, the BPL could look at other options. For me this issue should have been sorted out a long time back. That not having happened, it is important that it is put to bed as soon as is possible so that we start preparing for the new season. The anxiety is killing us and as football supporters we are a bit edgy. We do not want to have a delayed start to the season because of this matter. Hopefully it will be sorted out soon, and my worries would be allayed. 

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