TELECOMMUNICATIONS giants Vodacom Lesotho on Tuesday launched its three-year premier league sponsorship at a colourful event in Maseru.
The launch came a fortnight after the company was announced as the new league sponsors to replace rivals, Econet Telecom Lesotho, which has been bankrolling the league for the last three years.
Vodacom has previously sponsored the league from 2010 until 2016 when Econet came for the following three years. Econet’s contract ended last season.
The new sponsors will be injecting a whooping M8.5 million over three years. The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) will get M2.5 million in the first year, M2.8 million in the second year and M3.2 million in the third season.
It was also confirmed at the event that the winners of the 2020/21 Vodacom Premier League will pocket M550 000, a M50 000 improvement from last year.
The runners-up will get M250 000 while the second runners-up will get M200 000.
Vodacom director of finance, ‘Mamoorosi Raditapole told guests at the event that they were happy to return to the premier league with the biggest ever sports sponsoring package in Lesotho. She added that this was done in the hope that the intervention will improve the sport.
“We hope the money will cater for many of the operational needs such as the day-to-day administration costs, staff and player transportation for teams, player and referee wages, sport development, kitting, media support, advertising, ticketing and others,” Raditapole said.
“We also hope to further build strong synergies between sport and business through commercialisation of ticketing, exposure through wider broadcasting and legacy building through greater social investments.”
Vodacom is also planning to transpose its incubation-models experimented across its numerous innovation programmes to teams and also make their innovative human-resource practices available for PLMC adoption to improve its labour-intensive trade.
“We will also avail our mobile-money platforms to facilitate smooth purchasing of football products for millions of loyal fans,” she added.
In welcoming the sponsorship, PLMC deputy chairperson Baba Malephane said their target is to improve the standard of the premier league and having Vodacom on board with a big deal was a sign that they are on the right track.
“This is just a start; our main target is making the league worth M20 million…”
Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation minister Likeleli Tampane gave credit to Vodacom for investing in sport as it is not the government’s responsibility alone.
“It cannot be only the government which invests in sports but also the business world… I believe this sponsorship must be governed and implemented according the contract signed,” Tampane said.
The fourth, fifth and sixth placed teams will pocket M120 000, M90 000 and M75 000 respectively while the seventh, eighth and nineth placed teams will get M73 000, M70 000 and M68 000. Number 10 to 16 will get M65 000, M63 000, M50 000, M48 000, 45 000, M43 000 and M40 000