CAPS BRING IN GURU

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Rob­son Sharuko

CHAM­PI­ONS Caps United have roped in a mar­ket­ing guru, who once worked at English foot­ball gi­ants New­cas­tle United and at lead­ing For­mula One fran­chise McLaren Mercedes, onto their board of direc­tors in what the club believe could be a game-changer in their quest for pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­mer­cial suc­cess.

The Harare gi­ants named Hanna Wright, who in the past has worked with heavy­weight global sports spon­sors and iconic brands like North­ern Rock, Adidas and Bri­tish Pe­tro­leum, deal­ing with spon­sor­ship pack­ages, ad­ver­tis­ing and cor­po­rate hos­pi­tal­ity both at New­cas­tle United and McLaren Mercedes, onto their board of direc­tors.

Wright, the mar­ket­ing man­ager of Stream Walk’s ex­ec­u­tive team putting to­gether the foun­da­tion for the con­struc­tion of a muti-mil­lion dol­lar Radis­son Blue five-star up­mar­ket ho­tel in Harare in the big­gest in­vest­ment in the coun­try’s hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in years, is one of the new faces on Caps United’s board of direc­tors.

She will head the mar­ket­ing port­fo­lio on a re­vamped Caps United board of direc­tors, an­nounced yes­ter­day, which the club’s own­ers believe will not only add value to the Green Ma­chine brand but help them take a huge leap for­ward in a jour­ney to con­sol­i­date their place not only as the best foot­ball team in the coun­try but also a thriv­ing com­mer­cial en­tity.

Caps United ended 11 years of wait­ing by trans­form­ing them­selves into cham­pi­ons of Zim­babwe and will rep­re­sent the coun­try in the 2016 Caf Cham­pi­ons League with club pres­i­dent, Farai Jere, re­veal­ing on ZTV’s weekly foot­ball mag­a­zine pro­gramme, Game Plan, on Mon­day night that their min­i­mum tar­get was reach­ing the group stages of the tour­na­ment.

The share­hold­ers of the com­pany that runs the club, Jere, who holds a 73 per­cent share­hold­ing in the firm through his in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle Au­tomats In­vest­ment (Pri­vate) Lim­ited, Nhamo Tuti­sani who holds a 25 per­cent stake and lead­ing Harare lawyer, Lewis Uriri, who holds a 2 per­cent stake through his in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle Lewis Sports Man­age­ment (Pri­vate) Lim­ited, an­nounced a re­vamped board of direc­tors yes­ter­day.

That board in­cludes a num­ber of peo­ple who were part of the direc­tors who mas­ter­minded Caps United’s league cham­pi­onship suc­cess story this year with only banker Des­mond Ali, who is re­ported to be con­cen­trat­ing on mov­ing to as­sume a new po­si­tion in his line of work, and Alois Bun­jira, who left the board ear­lier this year, be­ing the only ones miss­ing from the line-up.

The share­hold­ers also re­vealed they were pur­su­ing the ser­vices of Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional banker, Andy Hodges, who has been based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the past six years, to take over as board chair­man in an­other strate­gic move aimed at strength­en­ing the board and the com­pany for tougher chal­lenges ahead.

Hodges, who led the Green Ma­chine to back-to-back vic­to­ries as club chair­man in 2004 and 2005 in a golden pe­riod for the club un­der coach Charles Mh­lauri, is be­lieved to be con­sid­er­ing re­turn­ing home af­ter halfa-dozen years on the road.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions have been go­ing on be­tween the Caps United’s lead­er­ship and Hodges and the club ex­pect a con­clu­sion to the talks, and the pos­si­bil­ity of an agree­ment be­ing reached, by the end of this month.

The Caps United share­hold­ers believe se­cur­ing Hodges’ spe­cial­ist ser­vices will be a ma­jor coup.

Al­ready, they believe they have done won­ders in re­fresh­ing their board­room by lur­ing mar­ket­ing ex­pert Wright onto their board where her ex­pe­ri­ence, work­ing in the pro­fes­sional ranks of New­cas­tle United for two years be­tween 2007 and 2009 could help in pro­vid­ing a new di­rec­tion for the club.

“The mar­ket­ing side of things wel­comes, for the first time to the Caps United FC board, Han­nah Wright,” a me­dia state­ment re­leased by board chair­man Uriri, who has also ap­pears to have changed his de­ci­sion to walk away from the game’s ad­min­is­tra­tive struc­tures at the end of this month, said.

“Han­nah is not a stranger to foot­ball. She was in­volved with New­cas­tle United Foot­ball Club in the United King­dom be­tween 2007 and Jan­uary 2009. She served as New­cas­tle United’s Mar­ket­ing and Sales Ex­ec­u­tive.

“She has vast mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. She is presently the Mar­ket­ing man­ager of Stream Walk (Radis­son Blue Ho­tel).”

Wright’s im­pres­sive cur­ricu­lum vi­tae shows she worked as a “Mar­ket­ing and Sales Ex­ec­u­tive at New­cas­tle United Foot­ball Club (from) Jan­uary 2007 to Jan­uary 2009, proac­tively sell­ing the va­ri­ety of op­tions avail­able at New­cas­tle United (which in­cluded) spon­sor­ship pack­ages, perime­ter and pro­gramme ad­ver­tis­ing and Cor­po­rate Hos­pi­tal­ity for the home and away fix­tures.

De­sign­ing of the Cor­po­rate Hos­pi­tal­ity brochure on a sea­sonal and sin­gle match ba­sis.

Dis­cussing and putting ideas to­gether for dif­fer­ent ad­ver­tis­ing op­tions.

Sign­ing ses­sions with the play­ers at the train­ing ground on a monthly ba­sis

Hospi­tal vis­its with the play­ers to the chil­dren’s ward at dif­fer­ent hos­pi­tals across the north east of Eng­land.

On a home match day I was re­spon­si­ble for the VIP suites at the sta­dium where I in­ter­acted with my clients and got any rel­e­vant feed­back. Clients in­cluded North­ern Rock, Adidas, Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers and BP.

Dur­ing my time there I was also re­spon­si­ble for the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Rod Ste­wart and Si­mon Webb con­certs plus var­i­ous other func­tions held at St James’ Park.”

She also worked in the VIP Hos­pi­tal­ity at the McLaren Mercedes Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre be­tween Jan­uary 2005 and May 2006, “deal­ing with VIP cus­tomers, co-or­di­na­tion of meet­ing rooms, stock takes, tak­ing care of Blue Chip clients, or­gan­is­ing con­fer­ences, ma­jor par­ties and For­mula One Events.

“I had the op­por­tu­nity to look af­ter a list of celebri­ties and For­mula One drivers namely Kimmi Raikko­nen and Juan Pablo Mon­toya. It was my duty to en­sure that all high-pro­file in­ter­na­tional guests who came to the Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre were treated with the ut­most pri­vacy and were per­son­ally looked af­ter by my­self and my team.”

Wright has also worked pre­vi­ously with the Pak­istan Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity.

Highly re­spected foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor, Cuth­bert Chitima, who has now won two league ti­tles in the past seven years — first as the direc­tor of Gun­ners Foot­ball Club in 2009 and now as part of the Caps United man­age­ment team, has been named the sub­stan­tive chief ex­ec­u­tive of the club.

Chitima has bee­neen hold­ing that po­si­tion in a care­taker ca­pac­ity for the past six months.

Uriri will be chair­man hair­man of the board un­til De­cem­ber 31 this year.

“It is in­tendedd that from one Jan­uary 2017, and for a pe­ri­odd of three years end­ing on 31st De­cem­ber 2020,, the board will be co-chaired by An­drew Farayiyi Hodges and Lewis Uriri,” the state­ment said.

“Lewis has bee­nen with the Club since 2001. He served as com­pany any sec­re­tary and le­gal ad­vi­sor. He is a le­gal prac­ti­tion­erc­ti­tioner and an en­tre­pre­neur. He was com­pa­nyany sec­re­tary when we won the back-to-back ck cham­pi­onships un­der the chair­man­ship off Hodges.

“Andy is ex­pect­edected to re­turn to the Green Ma­chine af­ter jus­tust over a decade. He presided over the Green Ma­chine dur­ing that mem­o­rable pe­riod. Andy iss an ac­com­plished busi­ness­man who has con­tin­ue­dued to give in­put into the club. Lewis has at­trib­uted uted our suc­cess this year to Andy’s ad­vice, in­spi­ra­tion on and vi­sion.

“We are op­ti­misticmistic that come 1 Jan­uary 2017, Andy willll be back at the Green Ma­chine. The ne­ces­sity of co-chair­per­sons sons start­ing from Jan­uary 2017017 is a di­rect re­sult of the need to also strengthen thee cor­po­rate sec­re­tar­ial func­tion. ion.

“Lewis will also serve as the board mem­ber re­spon­si­ble for cor­po­rate sec­re­tar­ial af­fairs rs as well as in­ter­nal coun­sel. His in­volve­ment­ment as our gov­er­nor at the PSL as well as his other pro­fes­sional, busi­nes­susi­ness and fam­ily com­mit­mentst­ments are such he feels he can­not sin­gle­hand­edly pre­side over the board. “Sim­i­larly, Andy has sig­nif­i­cant press­ing busi­ness and other com­mit­ments both lo­cally and over­seas.” Med­i­cal doc­tor Morde­cai Sachikonye has been re­tained as the board vice-chair­man and, hav­ing been with the club for al­most two decades, he will be in charge of the tech­ni­cal af­fairs. Jere will as­sume the fi­nance, busi­ness devel­op­ment and ex­ter­nal cor­po­rate stake­hold­ers’ port­fo­lio on the board while Tuti­sani while the club’s vice-pres­i­dent Tuti­sani will take care of the mar­ket­ing, pub­lic re­la­tions and strate­gic plan­ning port­fo­lio. “Farai needs no in­tro­duc­tion, save to state that he was also part of the ruth­less ma­chine that won the backto-back hon­ours in 2004/5. He is an ac­com­plished busi­ness­man. His ex­pe­ri­ence, com­mit­ment, vi­sion and lead­er­ship of the club is un­doubted. There can be no one bet­ter suited to as­sume one of the most chal­leng­ing port­fo­lios on the board,” the state­ment read. “Nhamo has been with Caps United for a long time. He has pre­vi­ously been on the board and has also served as Act­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer. The club would not be where it is to­day with­out Nhamo’s hard work, vi­sion, and com­mit­ment. “Heisanac­com­plished busi­ness­man whose key com­pe­tences and strengths are re­quired as a mat­ter of ne­ces­sity.” Abra­ham Kawadza, Wil­lard Manyen­ga­vana and Alex Mun­yaka have been re­tained on the board.

Hanna Wright

Brian Vi­tori

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