Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

DeMbare mourn end of BancABC marriage

By Eddie Chikamhi

Imagine a Dynamos jersey that will be without a BancABC logo for the first time in seven years?

BancABC offices in Harare
BancABC offices in Harare

The financial institution’s logo had become synonymous with the Harare giants with even their supporters looking for a replica or T-shirt that had the bank’s name.

After the end of the club and the bank’s marriage, it could be a new site with the grim prospects too that DeMbare could even start the season with a pain jersey.

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Dynamos and their major rivals Highlanders were bankrolled by BancABC, but the deals expired in December 2017 and there has been hint on whether the banking concern could yet renew vows.

The departure of BancABC has however, left Dynamos still mourning.

DeMbare president Kenny Mubaiwa yesterday said his club was still concerned by their divorce with BancABC who have been their financial partner for the past seven years.

Mubaiwa mourned for the club after BancABC have remained tight-lipped following the expiry of their contract with the Harare giants last month.

If BancABC decide against not extending their partnership with Dynamos, a number of things are bound to change at the Glamour Boys.

Apart from the financial harm, Dynamos and BancABC had forged strong bonds in terms of identity and the team and Mubaiwa noted that they could look weird without the BancABC logo on their jerseys.

“We have been talking to BancABC about this deal. We all knew it was coming to an end at the end of 2017 and as a club we always hope for good news.

“Right now we cannot rush to say anything because we are still trying to engage them. We still want them to be part of the family. We have enjoyed very good relations with BancABC since we came into this marriage some years back,” said Mubaiwa.

Dynamos and Highlanders entered into separate sponsorship deals with the financial institution in 2011, with the company committing itself to carry the burden of the club’s salary bills, the provision of playing kits, training equipment, travelling bags, and golf shirts for both sides, apart from other guarantees.

BancABC even went a step further to bankroll DeMbare in the Champions League.

The initial deal expired in 2013 and was renewed for three more years as the bank invested close to $1m into each team per season.

BancABC also helped Dynamos to strike technical sponsorship deals with Adidas for the supply of kits and replicas.

DeMbare and Highlanders were in the same scenario last year, after the deal had expired at the end of 2016, but the bank decided to return to football for one more year albeit with a reduced budget.

“They have always been there for the club and I must say when they came for the first time, they arrived just at the right moment.

“We needed a corporate partner to help us out because of the dire impact of the economic situation on sport and again we needed support to compete in the Champions League. It was difficult then. Otherwise Dynamos would have ceased to exist.

“But then they went further and this relationship grew to what it is today, to the extent that you virtually cannot separate Dynamos from BancABC.

“The bond that we had created with the bank was just too strong. It’s like divorcing your wife of several years. You may be separate, but there will always be that link.

“BancABC had become part of our identity, so to speak, and one just wonders how it will be like without that logo on our uniforms if they decide not to come back,” said Mubaiwa.

However, sources have hinted that the bank has been experiencing a strain because of the prevailing economic climate which has forced some companies to reconsider their budgets into sport and corporate social responsibilities and instead concentrate on their core businesses.

Apart from their relationship with the clubs, BancABC have been heavily involved with the Premier Soccer League through the Sup8r Cup and they also had other sponsorship deals with clubs such as Chapungu and Flame Lily.

“Of course, there are many things to consider and the decision is for them to make, but as Dynamos we are very grateful for all those years. BancABC played their part.

“We’ve come a long way. It feels empty to think that we will take another step without them and we sincerely hope that the new dispensation may persuade them to reconsider.

“But what is most fulfilling for us as a club is that we never had any problems with our sponsors during all those years. I am sure we did our utmost best to protect their brand and also to help it grow through the platform we provided for visibility.

“We can still go our separate ways, but with a clear conscience and hopefully in future we will work together again,” said Mubaiwa.

Dynamos have also been linked with a sponsorship deal with mobile telecommunications giants NetOne.

The mobile network operator is reportedly coming on board to sponsor the trio of Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United — this season with initial packages of $350 000 per team being peddled.

However, neither NetOne nor any of the clubs has spoken about the deal. The Herald