Carlsberg Malawi have said based on current performance, Big Bullets have an edge over their rivals Mighty Wanderers on the contest for the companyâ€™s sponsorship.
However, the Nomads have said it is premature to determine which team is to land the sponsorship at this stage.
The local brewing giantâ€™s senior brands manager (alcoholics) Twikale Chirwa said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that the fact that Bullets have already won the Carlsberg Shield and the Presidential Cup gives them an edge.
â€œWe are closely monitoring the teams that we are sponsoring this season [Bullets and Wanderers].
â€œHowever, I would like to point out that Big Bullets are close to becoming Carlsberg Bullets as they have already won two cups,â€ said Chirwa.
However, he said while Bullets have a spring in their step to land the sponsorship, they are not yet in the comfort zone as there are three other major tournamentsâ€”the Carlsberg Malawi Cup, Standard Bank Knockout Cup and the TNM Super Leagueâ€”that will also play a big role in choosing the successful team.
â€œAs Carlsberg, we are encouraged by Bulletsâ€™ performance and our strategy is to enhance competition for the local teams and BBâ€™s performance is testimony to that.
â€œIt will be interesting to see how Wanderers will take up the challenge. If they are equal, a situation that we would love to happen, then they will give us a bigger task of choosing which team to sponsor,â€ he said.
Chirwa also said Carlsberg Malawi has been blown away by the fan base of the two clubs, in particular Bullets.
â€œBig Bullets is a big brand with a lot of potential which can be exploited.
â€œSo, as Carlsberg, we are looking at affordable replica jerseys and also partnering them in the establishment of a commercial department within the club which will run joint promotions with Carlsberg,â€ he said.
Chirwa said Carlsberg is impressed with the talent Bullets have produced in their resurgence, citing Chimango Kaira, wonderkid Gabadinho Mhango and goalkeeper Owen Chaima who are with the Flames.
He also disclosed that Bullets are set to visit Carlsberg premises today (Wednesday) to appreciate the sponsorship and also to present the Presidential Cup.
â€œWe also want to commend the coaching panel and the executive committee that have shown passion and hunger after the seven-year cup drought. We are encouraged to continue supporting football in Malawi,â€ said Chirwa.
Bullets chairperson Malinda Chinyama said they were happy that their exploits have swayed Carlsberg Malawi.
â€œHowever, we would not want to be carried away by our recent feat. We will not sit on our laurels. It is like we are sitting in an examination and our aim is to score high marks and not necessarily competing with Wanderers,â€ said Chinyama.
He also disclosed that apart from paying a courtesy call to Carlsberg today, Bullets will also involve Carlsberg in their fund-raising activities, in particular the bashes that will be held in all the three regions.
However, Mighty Wanderers on Tuesday appeared unmoved with Carlsbergâ€™s statement, insisting the battle for sponsorship is not yet over.
The Nomads general secretary David Kanyenda said: â€œOne swallow does not make a summer. It is a bit premature to determine sponsorship issue mid-season because there are three more competitions left.
â€œHowever, we congratulate Bullets for winning the Presidential Cup, but they should expect us to fire from all cylinders starting with the Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
â€œThey should not think it will be a stroll in the park. The honeymoon is over.â€