(By Alois Bunjira)
When I was playing at BIDVEST WITS we had this scenario.......: BIDVEST Wits, a club sponsored by a BANK called BIDVEST plays against Kaizer Chiefs, a club sponsored by a BANK called Standard Bank in a tournament called NEDBANK CUP, sponsored a BANK called NEDBANK.
These two clubs are playing at a stadium called FNB stadium, which is owned by a BANK called First National Bank. Both clubs play in a league called ABSA Premiership which is sponsored by a BANK called ABSA Bank. Chiefs by virtue of being the home team, provides prematch and post match entertainment for their fans in the form of a music group and drum majorettes.
They also bring in cheer leaders. All this is financed by the money they get from one of their sponsors Standard BANK, who also chip in with money for bonuses when chiefs win. If BIDVEST Wits wins, the Bank called BIDVEST pays for their Bonuses. NEDBANK BANK has never been heard crying foul for that. They mind their business of hyping up their Cup game and finding ways of getting maximum mileage through that game.
They have the privilege of being the sponsor of the tournament and for all the prematch and post match interviews. It is their backdrop banner that is displayed. Can you all guys see how FIVE, FIVE, FIVE banks (Nedbank, ABSA, FNB, STANDARD Bank and BIDVEST Bank) are involved in this ONE game peacefully?
No wonder there is so much money in the South African league. When in Zimbabwe are we going to reach this level of top class football sponsorship and marketing where FIVE BANKS pelamborate in the same space for the benefit of the game and its players. WHEN?
(This story follows an eyebrow raising issue where beer brewers, Delta of Zimbabwe threatened bank sponsored teams, Highlanders and Dynamos who are sponsored by BankABC. The sponsors intended to lace the potential championship decider with goodies for the players and fans. Among others, the BancABC wanted to offer $15000 to the winners, $5000 for the team scoring the first goal in the first 5 minutes as well as offering $1500 to the man of the match.
There were potentially other good intentions coming the teams and fans' way but the Castle Lager Premier League warned of the potential loss of prize money if the teams followed the heart of their sponsors. Reading from the above script, one can see there is no conflict of interest between Delta and BancABC.
Since a former football picked this one up, it could be justification enough for former players to take football leadership and make decision that merit the game and the money spent on it. We salute the post of Mr Alois 'Criss-cross' Bunjira.
Alois Bunjira is a former Zimbabwe Warriors international football players with extensive experience. He plied his trade in Zimbabwe for Caps United in a very colourful career that took him to South Africa where he played for Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits among others.)