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Sponsorship should be voluntary

IN the past few weeks, we have seen a spirited campaign to armtwist Econet into sponsoring the country’s top flight football league. I believe that this campaign, which has even spread to Facebook, has reached nauseating levels!

Should Econet be blackmailed for being the country’s leading telecommunications player which has made significant earnings because of their business acumen and innovation? At least, that is what the campaigners seem to think.
I have seen Econet’s social responsibility initiatives and to me that is where their priorities lie and they are already doing enough for society’s disadvantaged. Reading through some of the comments on Facebook, some of the campaigners are even threatening Econet!
Econet, through their Buddie brand, had a brief flirtation with the premier league and I believe they had solid grounds for pulling out at the time. If sponsoring football is not in their strategy or is not a priority for now, why force them?
The explanation that other telecoms companies are sponsoring leagues in some countries is a rather lame excuse for me. Why not approach banks as well, given that they also sponsor leagues in other countries?
I have been an Econet subscriber and an avid supporter of our local football for years now but I do not agree with their approach. They definitely will not get my signature on their petition.
It is an undisputed reality that our football needs a long-term sponsor for our top flight football, but the approach should be handled more professionally.

Basil Mdluli,
Mabelreign, Harare.

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