By Fungai Muderere
Netone chief executive officer Lazarus Muchenje is tight-lipped about when they will unveil this year’s sponsorship packages for Highlanders and Caps United.
The mobile network operator has also been bankrolling army side Black Rhinos and Air Force of Zimbabwe side Chapungu United. The sponsorship covered paying players’ salaries and other expenses.
Muchenje said he was not yet back at work and was in the dark about the sponsorship packages.
“I’m not yet back at work. Remember there is coronavirus. I don’t know when the sponsorship packages will be unveiled,” said Muchenje.
He referred all inquiries to Eldrette Shereni, the NetOne marketing, public relations and customer experience executive, who said: “Can you please allow us to deal with this coronavirus national crisis at the moment. Teams are not even playing.”
The mobile network operator’s relationship with the four clubs started in 2018 and last year Black Rhinos received their kit as part of a $120 000 sponsorship, which rose to $170 000 through a $50 000 performance-based bonus.
Highlanders and Caps United received $700 000 each for the 2019 campaign.
At the Highlanders’ annual general meeting last month, chairman Kenneth Mhlophe told members that NetOne remained committed to the partnership.
“Our main sponsors NetOne Cellular remain committed to our partnership and they supported the review of salaries, camping and travelling costs during the year particularly when prices began to shift way out of budgets that had been allocated.
We are, together with our sponsors, working on figures required for supporting the first team’s activities.
“It goes without saying that all of us as members and fans must support and consume the sponsor’s products and guard the relationship with all our might,” said Mhlophe.
NetOne, through its One Fusion brand, has been sponsoring Highlanders by paying salaries of the club’s first team and technical staff members as well as footing the travelling and camping bills.
Besides NetOne, Highlanders also have other corporate partners that assist them such as Nyaradzo Life Assurance and Arenel, who provided the club with Hydro Boost mineral water for training, travelling and on match days. The Chronicle