APPROXIMATELY a year after Metropolitan Lesotho pulled out from co-sponsoring the Independence Cup, the insurance giants have found their way back into football injecting M500 000 into five Econet Premier League teams.
Metropolitan revealed this week that it would give M100 000 each to Liphakoe, Lifofane, Lijabatho, Swallows and Sefotha-fotha in a one season contract.
The money is meant for purchasing playing gear for the five teams.
Another local company, Basutoland Ink, has also joined the fray pledging to buy away playing kits for the same teams.
Metropolitan managing director Mamello Phomane said they were excited about the initiative and said they hoped it would go long way in assisting the five teams increase their competitiveness against other teams.
“We are excited to be launching this sponsorship whose aim is in line with our ethos and principles to always partner and invest in the communities that support our business,” Phomane said.
“We are also pleased that Basutoland Ink also loved the idea and came on board not just as suppliers but went beyond and also decided to sponsor the teams’ away jerseys.”
Phomane said the sponsorship is meant for teams without any technical sponsors. Metropolitan gets branding rights in return.
“The sponsorship will benefit league teams without technical sponsors and Metropolitan will get branding rights for all associated gear and matches for the five teams.
“Each team will have an outlay of M100 000 of which they are expected to buy a Metropolitan branded kit and a minimum of 100 replicas. The balance would be used to procure any technical equipment that they might need. The teams are expected to make some revenue out of the 100 replicas which they will sell to their supporters.
“We hope this can help promote the five teams to compete at the same level with other teams because we have selected teams that often struggle for finances.”
On his part, Basutoland Ink director Bokang Kheekhe said he was thankful for the opportunity to be involved in the initiative.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to be part of this deal. We were inspired by Metropolitan to also lend a helping hand. While Metropolitan will purchase home kits for these teams, Basutoland Ink will buy the away kits.
“It gives us an opportunity to grow as a brand and we thank the football family for the support that they have given us.”
Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) chairperson Ikarabele Sello thanked the two companies. He said he believed that the assistance would help the selected teams improve and become more competitive.
“We identified the teams to bridge the gap between league sides to improve competition in the league. Others have dominated aided by their healthy finances and we also want to give the five sides a boost.
“We thank the two companies for joining hands in this initiative,” Sello said.
Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) chief executive officer Mokhosi Mohapi urged the teams to use the initiative to their advantage and desist from doling out free replicas.
“The teams should take this opportunity and use it to make money. Stop the behavior of giving free replicas to people in high positions who can afford to buy.
“Use these replicas for the intended purposes and ensure they grow your teams,” Mohapi said.