Malawi’s TNM Super League annual sponsorship package worth K65 million (about $162 500) is among southern Africa’s lowest, The Nation has established.
Super League teams last week asked Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to renegotiate with sponsors, mobile service providers TNM, for a possible hike that would take into consideration economic trends prevailing in the country.
The Nation compared Super League’s sponsorship package with eight of Cosafa’s 13 top-flight leagues using exchange rates of R1 and $1 to MK46 and K400 respectively.
For example, in Zimbabwe, Castle Lager bankrolls their Premier Soccer League to the tune of $600 000 (K240 million), including $70 000 (K28 million) for the champion, according to Zimbabwean sports journalist Enock Muchinjo.
In Zambia, MTN sponsors the 16-member Premier Division League to the tune of $285 000 (MK114 million) per year. Swaziland’s MTN Premier League and Botswana’s league are worth R1.5 million (K69 million). Swazi champions pocket R600 000 (K27.6 million).
Recently, Standard Bank in Mozambique presented Maxaquene with Mocambola League’s championship prize of 600 000 meticais (K6 million) but Malawian player Sankhani Mkandawire on Wednesday said the sponsor meets all teams’ travel and accommodation expenses to fulfil assignments.
Namibia’s MCT League is pegged at N$11 294 300 (K552 million).
According to our research, Super League’s sponsorship is higher than Lesotho’s Vodacom Premier League which receives R1 million (K46 million) and R300 000 (K13.8 million) for the winner, according to Lesotho Football Association information officer Mikia Ntanda.
Recently, South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) renegotiated with Absa Bank for an improved package divided into four quarters. Leaders after each quarter pocket R1.5 million (K69 million) apart from the R10 million (K460 million) grand prize for annual champions. PSL’s five-year total package is worth over R450 million (over K20 billion).
Interestingly, Angola’s top-flight Girabola First Division Championship is not sponsored, but Angola Cup winners pocket K20 million, according to Angola Press Agency which quoted Angola Football Federation technical chairperson Nando Jordão.
The research, however, did not take into consideration other economic variables such as gross domestic product and cost of living. But the figures support local clubs’ resolutions reflected in their minutes which our sister paper Nation on Sunday published last Sunday.
Mighty Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda was quoted as saying: “We play 28 games in about eight months and we spend about K30 million (about $75 000); yet, at the end of the day, the champion takes home K9 million (about $22 500).”
During the 2012/2013 TNM/Sulom gala in Lilongwe last month, FAM vice-president Pikao Ngalamila said: “I saw in the papers airtime tariffs adjustments. We are interested to see if there will be adjustments to the sponsorship.”
In reaction, TNM chief commercial officer Charles Kamoto insisted that apart from the K65 million, “in reality, we spend more on cost of uniforms and equipment such as balls.”
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda and his deputy Tho Chazema could not be reached on Wednesday for comment.