TNM plc has withdrawn kit sponsorship for TNM Super League clubs and has redirected funds for the uniforms towards team prizes.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Tiya Somba Banda said this yesterday when asked to explain the rationale behind the 167 percent increase of the winners prize money from K15 million to K40 million, yet the overall sponsorship package has been upped by at least 11 percent from K90 million to K100 million.
He said the development means that clubs are at liberty to land their own kit sponsorship, an arrangement which in professional leagues is one of the main revenue streams for clubs.
“Football sponsorship is categorised in many segments and the key ones are the naming rights of the league and kit sponsorship. In the current contract, TNM had both by virtue of procuring kits for the teams,” said Somba-Banda.
“But now, TNM has relinquished the kit sponsorship and redirected the funds to prize money. The teams now have an opportunity to land their own kit sponsorship. This is in line with our professionalism and football commercialisation agenda.”
The Sulom president said the league sponsors’ logo will now be placed just below the collar.
Apart from increasing the winners’ prize, TNM has also enhanced prize money for Player-of-the-Season from K500 000 to K2 million. That is on top of the K3.5 millon worth Mazda Demio that Sulom bought through other revenue sources.
On whether the improvement in prizes will also trickle down to other awardees such as runners-up, the Sulom president said “we will come up with the finer details within the week”.
Top-flight league clubs have described the latest development as the best way to go in professionalising football in the country.
Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said: “This is the way to go to help the clubs that struggle financially. Now that TNM has relinquished kit sponsorship, clubs will now search for their own sponsors and make revenue in return.”
On his part, Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thokozani Chimbali also said it is a move in the right direction as it gives the clubs a chance to partner with other entities on kit sponsorship.
“That’s what commercialisation demands and that is the trend all over the world. We have welcomed this and we thank TNM for this,” he said.
Nevertheless, Chimbali believes Sulom can do better to identify co-sponsors for the elite league as the overall sponsorship hike of at least 11 percent from K90 million to K100 million is not good enough.
“I think Sulom can do more as there is an opportunity to partner other entities on overall sponsorship because the Super League needs more funding. We can do better than the current sponsorship by getting co-sponsors and that is Sulom’s job,” he said.