Clubs urged to ex­ploit fi­nan­cial value for sur­vival

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

CAS­TLE Lager Premier Soc­cer League clubs have been chal­lenged to ex­ploit their fi­nan­cial value for sur­vival.

PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kennedy Nde­bele said foot­ball clubs should start be­hav­ing like busi­ness en­ti­ties by mak­ing use of their fi­nan­cial value, not­ing that they were do­ing them­selves a dis­ser­vice by fail­ing to do so.

“Foot­ball the world over is busi­ness and there are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties that our clubs can ex­plore to gen­er­ate mean­ing­ful rev­enue.

“Be­sides lim­it­ing them­selves to gate tak­ings, spon­sor­ships and do­na­tions as their source of rev­enue, clubs should tap into sale of mer­chan­dise and events,” said Nde­bele.

He said some of the mer­chan­dise clubs may push be­sides T-shirts in­clude mem­o­ra­bilia like cof­fee mugs, pens, flags, stick­ers and lan­yards, among oth­ers.

The clubs were also chal­lenged to max­imise on events such as an­niver­saries, un­veil­ing of play­ers, sea­son’s launch din­ner and end of year awards as plat­forms to mar­ket their prod­ucts.

Sports Lead­ers In­sti­tute of Zim­babwe (Sliz) pres­i­dent Rus­sell Mhiribidi, who is also the African Sports Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ASMA) South­ern Re­gion chap­ter chair­man said lack of ideal struc­tures hin­dered clubs’ po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate rev­enue.

“Com­mer­cial ex­ploita­tion be­comes easy if you have right struc­tures within your club or in­sti­tu­tion.

The prob­lem is that in­stead of hav­ing peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for mar­ket­ing or sale of mer­chan­dise, you find clubs’ pol­icy for­mu­la­tors em­ployed some­where want­ing to do day-to-day op­er­a­tions,” said Mhiribidi.

“Sup­port­ers’ sense of be­long­ing is there and that is why you find most fans go­ing to sta­dia wear­ing Chelsea, New­cas­tle or Or­lando Pi­rates and Celtic repli­cas to cheer their teams.

“So what clubs or sport­ing in­sti­tu­tions need to do is come up with prod­ucts that their fol­low­ers will iden­tify with, prod­ucts that are af­ford­able to the masses,” he said.

He said clubs could also sub-li­cence strate­gic part­ners to mar­ket their prod­ucts if they can­not af­ford to have peo­ple ded­i­cated for that ex­er­cise.

Mhiribidi said even the sale of play­ers is part of com­mer­cial ex­ploita­tion.

“Look, if a player moves to an­other team and the club gets money, they must use those re­sources to de­velop tal­ent, which they will later trade.

“The same play­ers can sign con­tracts that force them to mar­ket the club’s prod­ucts and be­ing star at­trac­tions.

“The play­ers’ mes­sages can have an in­flu­ence on the pub­lic,” said Mhiribidi.

He said if clubs are not ben­e­fit­ing from sta­dia touch­line ad­ver­tis­ing, then if they are in pos­ses­sion of lease agree­ments with the lo­cal author­i­ties as en­shrined in Fifa Club Li­cens­ing, they can gen­er­ate rev­enue from kiosks at match venues.

He com­mended High­landers’ am­bi­tious plan of hav­ing their own en­ergy drink.

“The clubs can get sub­stan­tial amounts from sell­ing re­fresh­ments or snacks at sta­dia kiosks.

“They can’t rely only on gate tak­ings if they’re to sur­vive. Think­ing out­side the box is the best way to make use of rev­enue op­por­tu­ni­ties by hav­ing peo­ple ded­i­cated to do the job,” said Mhiribidi.

He said foot­ball clubs, sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties, se­condary and pri­mary schools, as well as sports of­fi­cers from gov­ern­ment arms, such as the Zim­babwe Prisons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices and po­lice can learn a lot by at­tend­ing sports ad­min­is­tra­tors’ work­shops. — @ZililoR

PSL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kennedy Nde­bele

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