By Mehluli Sibanda
Highlanders might have lost 2-0 to Dynamos in last Sunday’s President’s Independence Trophy in a match that officially marked the return of domestic football in the country, but Bosso is leading their rivals in terms of replica shirt sales so far.
The two giants of Zimbabwean football last year entered into three-year agreements with On The Ball who will supply the two teams with their brand of Looks playing kits as well as replica shirts for the supporters. Last Sunday they presented Bosso and DeMbare with an opportunity to finally parade their new kits since there has been no football in the country from last year.
Peter Chiveso, the OTB chief executive officer said the selling of replica shirt sales was linked to football activity. He bemoaned lack of football activity and the lockdown as the factors that affected pushing of the merchandise.
“The sales have obviously been disrupted by the lockdown in January and February. Also, the lack of football has not helped. Normally when teams are playing and winning merchandise sales increase,’’ Chiveso said.
Without delving into the figures of which club has sold what, Chiveso pointed at the fact that Highlanders fans are loyal and buy the team’s regalia as a sign of devotion. This has seen Bosso push more replica shirts than their rivals so far.
“As for who is buying the most at the moment, the two clubs are massively different in culture and tradition when it comes to buying. The Dynamos buying machine goes into overdrive when the team is playing and winning. Once convinced their hunger for merchandise is insatiable. Bosso fans buy as duty to the club. Buying club merchandise is a symbol of identity and a show of loyalty and passion,’’ said Chiveso.
A day after Dynamos defeated Highlanders, their Kwekwe chapter ordered 100 replica shirts, which is an indicator that once football resumes, the sales will go up. The issue of lack of availability of bigger sizes has been a challenge that has affected the sales, in particular of the Highlanders replica shirts and Chiveso indicated that they were working on providing a solution with the next consignment to solve the problem.
“We had problems with sizing from the first consignment. We’ve corrected this on the consignment arriving early June. We’re bringing in only XL sizes.”
Replica shirts are being sold for US$35 by the clubs at selected retail shops and through club chapters. Shirts can also be purchased online through the OTB store. The Sunday News