The Midweek Sun
FROM ROOKIES TO RICHES
Their journey to this point has been an arduous one, battling their way to a hard-earned promotion. But with promotion comes a new set of challenges, and VTM FC is now grappling with the financial realities of competing at the highest level.
One of the immediate hurdles they face is the daunting prospect of longer trips and elevated expenses. As the 2023/24 season approaches, the club’s coffers are tested by increased travel costs and higher operational expenses. However, these challenges have only fueled their determination to cement their place among the football elite.
As the clock ticks down to the opening match of the season, the rookies are not simply relying on their on-field prowess. They’re devising a strategic plan to tackle the financial pressures head-on, with a creative approach that aims to not only support the team but also enhance their home advantage. Their secret weapon? The VTM Arena, their fortress and the stage for a unique revenue-generating strategy.
Recognizing the potential of their stadium as more than just a battleground, VTM FC has taken the initiative to host tournaments featuring local social clubs. This shrewd move has struck a chord with the fans of these clubs, who turn out in droves to support their teams on the grand stage of VTM Arena. With each fan passing through the gates, a vital stream of revenue is injected into the club’s finances.
In a symbiotic relationship, VTM FC has become the conduit for the passionate followers of the social clubs to demonstrate their loyalty and fervor. The club is supplying the platform, and the demand is being driven by the unwavering support of these local communities. As matchdays unfold, the stadium transforms into a melting pot of football fervency, where allegiance and pride are worn as badges of honor.
VTM Football Club manager, Boitshepo Littah Gaegopolwe acknowledged the challenges ahead, but emphasized the club’s readiness to face them head-on. He stated that VTM plans to leverage their stadium to generate revenue, and they’ll be actively pursuing partnerships and sponsorships to bolster their position in the league.
“VTM security can’t carry the team alone, financially speaking we got to get creative and find new revenue streams. So, we decided to put our stadium to good use. The plan is to strike up some partnerships with local businesses and organizations, which will hopefully give us the financial stability we need, especially with the costs that come up with the Elite League,” Gaegopolwe stated.
The club manager emphasized that the stadium has been packed during Division One matches, and they’re confident that in the elite league, their stadium activations will continue to draw in fans and generate revenue.
They’re focused on building a fan base that’s both engaged and profitable, and they believe that by offering a top-notch game day experience, they’ll be able to achieve both.
“VTM is committed to promoting its matches with the same passion and force displayed during our Division One tenure. Various strategies, such as leveraging social media platforms, increasing marketing efforts, and engaging with the fan base through meaningful channels, will be employed to boost ticket sales and attendance,” he noted.
The club aims to create a buzz in the community while maintaining a sophisticated and intelligent approach.
Furthermore, Gaegopolwe expressed his excitement for the upcoming season in the premier league, stating that avoiding relegation and striving to become one of the top teams in Botswana are the club’s goals. He emphasized the importance of being a
strong competitor and growing the team’s reputation, both on and off the field in the upcoming season.
“In our inaugural season in the Botswana Football League, our tactics and approach will remain the same, we’re sticking with our possession-based style of play, looking to break through the opponent’s defense, and putting the ball in the net. Currently, we’re in pre-season mode, assessing our players’ strengths and weaknesses, and strategizing on how to build a stronger team for the upcoming season,” Gaegopolwe mentioned.
In addition to their focus on the senior team, the club has also launched a youth team at their home stadium, with the aim of nurturing and developing young players.
They strongly believe that investing in youth development is crucial to the future of the club. Through this program, they hope to discover and cultivate talented young players who can rise through the ranks and eventually contribute to the success of the senior team.
“We have reached out to several schools in the vicinity of our stadium, seeking permission to recruit their students for our youth program. The response has been positive, with several parents giving their consent for their children to participate. We are delighted to welcome these young athletes and provide them with the opportunity to hone their skills and potentially take their game to the next level”, he added.