Clubs urged to exploit financial value for survival
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