THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) is negotiating a $1 billion sponsorship deal with cellular network provider Econet for next year’s championship. The premiership is also working at bringing toge
ther a number of sponsors to bankroll the championship, IndependentSport has heard.
PSL chairman Tendai Madzorera this week confirmed that the league was negotiating for sponsorship packages for next year’s premiership but was reluctant to divulge details.
“We are working on new sponsorship packages and we could have a set-up that comprises old sponsors and new sponsors,” Madzorera said.
Sources within the PSL leadership revealed that Econet, which forged an alliance with the top-flight league this year when it bankrolled the ongoing Buddie Challenge Trophy for $250 million, had indicated a willingness to sponsor next year’s premiership.
Delta Corporation is currently sponsoring the PSL championship through its Castle Larger brand and this year poured in $300 million.
A partnership involving Delta and Econet could be considered, with the possibility of other sponsors also chipping in. Delta, which has been bankrolling the premiership championship for over a decade now, is understood to have agreed to partner other sponsors in the interest of developing the game.
Sources say other potential sponsors, including a leading bank, have also shown willingness to join the fray.
Econet spokesperson Dakarayi Matanga had not responded to questions sent to him by this paper by the time of going to press after saying he needed to prepare a considered statement.
However, sources within the cellular network company’s marketing department said negotiations with PSL were likely to culminate in a deal for next year’s championship.
The 16-team top-flight league has been hard hit by lack of sponsorship. Most members of the corporate world such as Dairibord Zimbabwe and Rothmans of Pall Mall who used to sponsor knockout tournaments, have cut links with the PSL citing the difficult economic conditions and the perennial squabbling in the leadership of local soccer as the major reasons for their pullout.
Meanwhile, premiership log leaders Caps United yesterday received a major boost in their quest for the championship when cellular network provider Net*One chipped in with a $50 million sponsorship package.
The sponsorship covers Caps’ remaining seven games.
Presenting the sponsorship in Harare yesterday, Net*One managing director Reward Kangai said the cellular concern felt honoured to be associated with Caps since the team are the log leaders.
“Our aim is to make this an annual event where we will present something to the team leading the league,” he said.
The sponsorship package includes Easycall Plus-branded kits as well as mobile phone lines.
Caps chairman Andy Hodges said the money from the sponsorship would be used for the development of the club.
“Every cent we get will be used to make the club better,” he said.
Hodges said Net*One would also sponsor Caps’ annual awards scheduled for the end of December.