At long last. TNM Super League clubs will from next season be allowed to enter into shirt advertising deals following a new agreement between the league’s sponsors TNM plc and Super League of Malawi (Sulom).
Shirt sponsorship allows clubs to have advertisers on the jerseys in return for funds to help them buy essential assets such as team kits, equipment, training facilities and travel expenses.
Currently, the teams are restricted on advertising on their jerseys as the league sponsors TNM plc have exclusive rights.
But in a new sponsorship deal to be unveiled soon, TNM will no longer have exclusive shirt rights.
Sulom announced this on Sunday during its annual general meeting (AGM) in Mangochi.
“In our discussions on the new sponsorship, TNM was flexible and [they] will not have exclusive rights of the teams’ jerseys.
“This will allow clubs to go and get as many sponsors for their jerseys as possible thereby increasing their revenue.”
A Silver Strikers delegate at the AGM, George Chiusiwa, said the freeing of shirt rights should have come long ago as the sponsors’ exclusive rights infringed on Fifa regulations.
“This is non-negotiable. It’s clearly spelt out in Fifa regulations,” he said.
Football marketing consultant Felix Sapao said: “Shirt sponsorship in club football has always been part of the marketing rights of a club. It’s a matter of the club knowing how to use the rights.
“League sponsors like TNM plc already acquired the naming rights of the league. The league can, therefore, use one sleeve for the league and league sponsorship as is the norm in most leagues in Africa.
“But they have to provide material to the clubs.”
TNM plc brands communication manager Limbani Nsapato said in an interview that all issues regarding the new sponsorship agreement with Sulom will be unveiled at an appropriate time.
According to Fifa shirt advertising regulations, the chest is for the club’s shirt sponsors, while the league logo designated position is the left or right sleeve, depending on the contract with the league.
There is no mention of league sponsors having space on the shirt.
Somba-Banda said TNM will now have their small logo on the left side of the jerseys unlike the current situation where it is on front and back of the shirts.
According to The Economist, selling advertising space on football jerseys has become highly lucrative and contributes up to a third of top clubs’ earnings .