US-based Nsejjere and Sports Casual Wear has announced the introduction of diversity in sports mechandisation at Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers starting from this month.
Nsejjere president Isaac Nsejjere disclosed this in an interview with Weekend Nation.
In the previous year, Nsejjere products to the three clubs were limited to replica jerseys, caps and scarves, but from this year Nsejjere will introduce new products such as duvets, kitchenware, watches, mugs, school bags, tooth brushes and others branded in the clubs’ colours.
“Sports merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices fans of the clubs to make a purchase.
“Teams such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and others in professional leagues make 40 percent of their total revenue from branding and merchandisation. We are introducing that in this country,” said Nsejjere.
He said the increasing economic value of sports licensing cannot be overemphasised and clubs with large fan bases should not miss out.
“Fans will always want to sleep or drink from a mug that has the logo of their favourite team on them. This is what will transform sports in Malawi. It is working in many other countries,” said Nsejjere.
He said once clubs and fans embrace this kind of marketing, within a year each club will be able to make millions of kwacha.
Big Bullets, who are participating in CAF Champions League this year and need all the marketing strategies to survive and have since engaged Nsejjere in talks to transform the club’s fortunes.
“We had successful talks with Nsejjere and we are looking forward to what they have to provide. We have a huge fan base and we believe if Nsejjere will provide quality products we can make profit that can benefit the players,” said Bullets general secretary Harold Fote.
He said they have asked Nsejjere to draft a new contract that can be beneficial to the two parties.
Be Forward Wanderers said they too are impressed with the vision laid out by Nsejjere, but they have proposed some changes.
“In the initial contract, Nsejjere put up all the capital for production and acquisition of the sports merchandise, but we are saying no to that. Instead, we will buy the product from them and be responsible for our own markets,” said Wanderers general secretary Mike Butao.
“We are, however, impressed with their offer and we truly believe it is the right step if we are to be financially independent,” he said.
Silver made profit in their first contract with Nsejjere, but, according to the club’s chairperson McDonald Mafuta-Mwale, the problem was on how to recover money from agents after the sales.
“It was a good deal and it can really transform clubs’ finances if well handled,” said Mafuta-Mwale.