Mmegi Blogs :: Thank you beMOBILE: Now this calls for more professionalism
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Thursday 13 December 2018, 12:33 pm.
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Thank you beMOBILE: Now this calls for more professionalism

The protracted talks over a contract extension between the Botswana Premier League and Botswana Telecommunications Corporationís beMOBILE created a lot of uncertainty. At one point the talks looked to have reached a dead end, but at the end the two entities realised that they needed each other. Although relations looked strained, something was worked out and a new three year - P30m deal was signed.
By Thuso Palai Tue 23 Sep 2014, 15:47 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Thank you beMOBILE: Now this calls for more professionalism








Botswana’s beMobile Premier League is the joint 6th most lucrative League in the continent, and for that we have to commend those who negotiated on the BFA’s side and those who ultimately opened the beMOBILE purse. Our league only plays second fiddle to such Leagues as those of Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Ghana amongst others, and these are African football powerhouses. One can only hope that this sponsorship deal jerks up our standards and we also reap the rewards at international level. An improved League, holisctically, leads to improved football and ultimately to improved results in inter-continental club competitions and international games.  

With the increased sponsorship we also hope for more professionalism across board. We need to have the Premier League secretariat on its toes, and not have a business as usual attitude. We need to have the teams playing ball as well. The clubs also have to improve on their part, and be more professional. We cannot afford to have some of the circus we have had in the past few seasons and putting the League into disrepute, dragging along the name of the sponsors in the mud.

At one point, there was a cold war between the Premier League and beMobile, as the latter was not impressed with how the BPL was handling some issues, especially the ever controversial television rights issue. At one point the League was halted as the sponsor was not too impressed that there were no beMobile Premier League games on Botswana Television, a platform that beMobile really needs.

Despite the challenges we face,

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our League has grown in stature and its value has steadily increased over the  past few years. The BPL stood firm on what they think the League is worth and they got close to that in sponsorship. On the other hand, beMOBILE as a company still faces stiff competition from Mascom and Orange and they had to hang on to football to continue being in our faces. It is a case of the two parties needing each other. The BPL needed a sponsor and beMobile needed the platform that only football can get them, and in the end sanity prevailed and a deal was struck.

The delay in reaching a conclusion led to the League starting without a sponsor. I have always maintained that the negotiations on a new deal should have started with atleast six months before the last one elapsed. That way there would not have been a gap of uncertainty. The delay in the deal did not help some clubs who are reliant on the League sponsors’ mobilisation package to strengthen their sides in the off season. Teams did not get their mobilisation fee and some blame that for not having adequately strengthened their sides as they do not have sponsors.

Despite the somewhat delayed renewal of marriage vows between the BFA/BPL and BTC/beMOBILE, all is now well.  The relations between the sponsor and the League also has to improve. We can only hope that with the increased sponsorship, there will be an all-round improvement in our football standards, our administration and our behaviour as supporters. 

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