The country’s three football giants—Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers—experienced mixed fortunes in the sale of merchandise last season.
While Bullets say they made notable progress, the Nomads, on the other hand, said they did not benefit much.
On their part, the Central Bankers said they have gone back to the drawing board to start afresh following their recently introduced commercialisation drive.
Bullets business development manager Kelvin Moyo said the supporters’ respose to their replica sales has been overwhelming.
“For your information, a new consignment with new designs will be arriving soon. To ensure that conmen do not exploit our market with fake merchandise, we already registered our name, colours and emblem with the registrar as a protected insignia,” he said.
Moyo said going forward, Bullets will be coming up with a new kit and attractive designs every season to attract its fan base.
Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire acknowledged that there is potential in the replica business, but highlighted challenges that contributed to poor sales.
“If you saw supporters wearing replica shirts, most of them were given for free. The few we put on the market did not yield much because they were not enough due to capitalisation challenges. It’s not easy,” he said.
Mkandawire added that another hurdle is the issue of patenting their merchandise to prevent unscrupulous businesspeople from taking advantage.
Silver Strikers’ board of trustees chairperson Victor Madhlopa, whose club pioneered the replica jersey business in the country through a deal they signed with US-based firm Nsejjerre Sports Wear, said they plan to start afresh after their initial attempt was unsuccessful.
He said: “We will have a shop at the club house where centralised distribution of the items will take place as well as the selling to supporters during our matches. We shall also have agents in all cities across the country that shall be supplied with genuine items for resale.”
“To safeguard our merchandise, our supporters will ensure that we are not tricked by unscrupulous business people. We know crooks are all over, but we shall employ better marketing strategies to curb the malaise,” Madhlopa said. Renowned football analyst George Kaudza Masina said if the replica Jerseys business is to thrive, clubs should take into account financial earning of their supporters.