By Grace Chingoma
Delta Beverages flexed their muscles by unveiling a $5,450 million package for the Premier Soccer League – spread over three years, with $3,450 million going directly into the game’s coffers – while also launching new Challenge Cup to mark the league’s Silver Jubilee.
It’s the biggest financial injection ever invested in sport by a company in this country in history.
The beverages manufacturing giant maintained its annual budget of $700 00 for the league championship and $400 000 for the Chibuku Super Cup as they extended their marriage into the next three years.
They have added a sweetener, introducing the Castle Lager Challenge Cup, to feature the winner of the league and the Chibuku Super Cup, which they will bankroll to the tune of $50 000.
The Castle Lager Challenge Cup is meant to celebrate PSL’s existence since 1992.
The match will also mark the end of the season, with the winner pocketing $30 000 while the finalist will get $20 000.
And should the same team win both tournaments, the league runner-up will take up the slot in the challenge cup.
Addressing guests during the unveiling ceremony in Harare yesterday, Delta marketing executive Maxen Karombo said the company was committed to continue supporting the game in this country.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the renewal of our partnership with the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League for the next three years’ worth $3 450 000.
“We renew the league sponsorship to the tune of $700 000 per season and the Chibuku Super Cup worth $400 000 per season.
“To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the league, Delta Beverages will introduce the brand-new Castle Lager Challenge Cup.
“The cup will be a one-match challenge between the Castle Lager Premier Soccer Champions and the winners of the Chibuku Super Cup,” said Karombo.
Apart from the $3 million direct cash injection, the sponsor will fork out an additional $2 million to the league through advertising and promotion.
“This money represents the direct cash injection into the coffers of the league and clubs.
“Over and above this money, Delta Beverages will invest a further $2 million in support of the league through advertising and promotion of the league by deploying various activities that benefit the fans, consumers and traders of Castle Lager and Chibuku Super Cup.
“Therefore, the total investment Delta Beverages will commit to football in the next three years is worth $5 450 000. This is the biggest commitment to sport that any company in the country has ever done,” said Karombo.
Karombo also acknowledged peace and tranquillity that is now existing between the league and the mother body ZIFA, after some challenges at the end of last season.
“It is our sincere hope that the unity that now prevails between football authorities and administrators will help bring in more sponsors to the game.
“We remain confident that there will be a common sense of purpose amongst all football stakeholders to support our game and the image of our beautiful Zimbabwe.”
Karombo reiterated that as they commit to another term of partnering football, they were excited that the package will continue to guarantee prize money at the end of the season, provide a structured and professional league administration, offer an exciting knockout football tournament and honour players, coaches and referees who excel.
Premier Soccer League emergency committee members Kenny Mubaiwa and Farai Jere and chief executive Kenny Ndebele represented the league at the presentation.
Mubaiwa, who is also the acting chairperson, said the clubs were grateful for the renewed faith from their flagship partner.
“Our partnership with Delta Beverages through their Castle Lager brand will enable us to continue to develop the sport and achieve our mandate of making football more than just a game.
“During our partnership with Delta, we have seen super fans enjoying right from the start to the end of the season. A total number of 3 065 488 fans have paid to watch Castle Lager Premier Soccer League games since 2011.
“A total of 1 440 matches have been played under the Castle Lager PSL brand.
“The year 2017 marks our Silver Jubilee. We have lined up a number of activities. Please, allow me to thank Delta Beverages for accepting to partner us in celebrating this milestone,” said Mubaiwa.
The league championship is set to start next week on Saturday. The Herald