By Mehluli Sibanda
Highlanders have regained their traditional black and white colours after unveiling a new kit as part of a technical agreement with On the Ball, who will supply Bosso with their Looks brand for three years in a deal worth US$300 000.
Since 2018, Highlanders have been using Roar as a kit supplier, a brand they got to be associated with when they secured sponsorship from mobile network operator NetOne. One of the shortcomings of Roar was not providing Bosso with their traditional black and white stripe, popularly known as “Amawaba”.
In 2018, Roar did provide Highlanders with black and white uniforms but it was not what the Bosso fans were used to. Last year, it became even worse when Roar failed to provide Highlanders with a black and white kit, with Bosso using an entirely black strip for home matches.
It is hard for Highlanders fans to accept their team not being in the black and white they have been used to over the years.
What made things worse is that Roar could not even provide any replica shirts and this resulted in the increase in counterfeit shirts, which cost Highlanders revenue.
Highlanders fans need not worry anymore as the deal with OTB has not only brought back the black and white stripes they love so much but in the coming weeks, fans should be able to purchase replicas of the club’s kit.
Bosso is said to be working on plans to open a shop in the Bulawayo Central Business District where the club’s supporters should be able to buy the replicas.
Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said their deal with OTB should distinguish the club from the rest of their competitors.
“The kit we are going to see today gives me the confidence that the relationship that has been ignited will certainly set us apart in many ways. Our playing kits, which will be replicated for all the material from the core of the merchandise business our clubs seek to vigorously drive and grow as a revenue stream from now into the future,’’ Mhlophe said.
Mhlophe is optimistic that since the club has quenched the thirst of the fans, Bosso supporters will reciprocate by supporting the replica shirt business. Online sales will be available for those in the diaspora.
Twitter Kings and Bulawayo Chiefs have really taken advantage of inaction from Highlanders by luring football fans in the city to their shop, which has been a hive of activity since it opened in June. The Sunday News