THE country’s premier football league sponsors, Vodacom Lesotho are still to hand out prize money to the 14 clubs for the 2016/17 season.
The telecommunications giant and the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) released a joint statement apologising for the delayed payments to the clubs and the football fraternity at large.
The statement further indicated that Vodacom and the PLMC would continue to engage each other to resolve the issue.
While the communication and engagement is commendable, it is however unfortunate that the delay has impacted on the pre-season preparations, particularly of those clubs whose limited sponsorship makes them dependent on the money from the league sponsors.
According to these clubs, the money they receive at the end of each season informs their preparations for the new campaign which is fast approaching.
This is understandable in that the pre-season is a crucial phase for any coach and team in the modern game.
There is a feeling among the clubs and the football fraternity that the matter was not handled with enough care for such an important issue.
What I would love to see going forward from Vodacom is a more hands-on approach during the season.
I would love to see them do more to promote their involvement in football.
Throughout the years I have covered different competitions in the country and beyond, including the South African Premiership.
And to be honest, I was impressed by how Absa who sponsor their league are hands-on in using their expertise in collaboration with their partners to promote the game.
I believe that this is the one department where Vodacom could do more and this will not only benefit football, but also give them more mileage as a company.
This is not to take away all the good work they have done and are doing since coming on board in 2009. They have certainly given our football a facelift, setting high standards which only leave us crying out for more from them.
I am sure that all those that were old enough recall the excitement among the football fraternity when Vodacom became the first company to invest a million maloti in sponsorship for a sporting event.
It was a historic moment that helped revive the spirit of the game in the country but it is my humble submission that the time has come for them to take things to another level by reviewing their sponsorship upwards.
I really believe that with a better package, only the sky can be the limit for all stakeholders.
Let us not be afraid to copy what is done in other countries. Introducing incentives such as Coach of the Month as well as Player of the Month could add more excitement to the competition.
This does not only apply to Vodacom but all the companies that have invested in sport and those that are still to do so.
The clubs as well as the football association must also come to the party.
Teams should not be afraid to follow the example of a team like Bantu that has put so much effort in building their brand.
Just last weekend, A Matšo Matebele held a gala dinner which helped raise more than M250 000.
This is slightly more than what they will get for winning the league title last season but it is worth noting that they did not sit on their laurels while waiting for the league prizes.
They have been head and shoulders above their counterparts in terms of building their brand.