MTN, FAZ sign $3m deal
Published On December 12, 2014 » 3137 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Football, Sports
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• DONE DEAL: MTN Zambia chief executive officer, Abdul Ismail (right) presents a K19.2 million dummy cheque to FAZ president, Kalusha Bwalya (centre) and treasurer Kelvin Mutafu during the signing of an increased three-year sponsorship contract in Lusaka yesterday. Picture by JEAN MANDELA

• DONE DEAL: MTN Zambia chief executive officer, Abdul Ismail (right) presents a K19.2 million dummy cheque to FAZ president, Kalusha Bwalya (centre) and treasurer Kelvin Mutafu during the signing of an increased three-year sponsorship contract in Lusaka yesterday. Picture by JEAN MANDELA

By GRACE CHAILE –
MTN Zambia yesterday unveiled an improved three-year sponsorship package with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) where Football House will earn $1.5 million (about K9.6 million) annually in 2015 and 2016.
In 2017, MTN and FAZ will renegotiate the sponsorship package exclusively for the senior national team and the Premier Division League.
The latest sponsorship deal announced at Football House in Lusaka yesterday represents an increase of more than 150 per cent annually.
In the last contract, MTN used to dish out $450,000 (about K2.8 million) every year as main sponsors for the Chipolopolo and the league.
During the signing ceremony for the renewed sponsorship deal worth U$3million (K19, 200,000) for the first two years and subject to revision in the third, MTN Zambia chief executive officer, Abdul Ismail said his company was inspired by the raising football standards in the country.
Ismail said Zambian football was back at the top where it belonged but that more still needed to be done to ensure it moved to the next level.
He commended the Kalusha Bwalya -led FAZ administration for its dedication to football development in Zambia.
“Our partnership with FAZ started in 2010 when most companies did not think it prudent to invest in local football. MTN held a series of meetings with the FAZ president and his team and we were convinced that partnering with them was in the interest of Zambia’s number one passion, football!
“We are proud to be associated with the success scored by FAZ since our partnership started in 2010.These include, winning of the 2012 AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations), hosting and winning of the 2013 COSAFA Senior Challenge and making the MTN FAZ Super league competitive and watched across Africa,” he said.
He pledged MTN’s continued commitment to supporting football as a way of showing customer appreciation.
“Football is Zambia’s number one passion and as Zambia’s biggest network, we know that supporting football is directly supporting the passion of our customers. For us, if a premier league match or a national team game will put a smile on the face of even one customer and make them happier, we will have delivered on our mission to make their lives a whole lot brighter,” he said.
Kalusha thanked MTN for renewing the contract and promised to do everything in his power to ensure that local football maintained its upward trend.
“Our partnership with MTN has obviously paid dividends to our soccer; the competition in the Super league the past two years is true testimony as the league championship has been decided on the very last day. This year, the top three teams all had a chance of being Zambian champions,” he said.
He described the 2015 football calendar as a unique one as it would see the commencement of the much talked about professionalising of the Premier League through Club Licensing.
“The demand for Club Licensing is vast but achievable. We are glad that this deal has increased value for each club in the Super league, and his should assist the clubs to move towards the goal of being professional and self sufficient business entities. The past four years have heralded the return of the masses to the stadiums, gone are the days when the stadia were empty. This development has somehow helped clubs to have some extra funding for their logistical support,” he said.
Kalusha added that 2014 had been a successful year as each team entered international competitions and managed to qualify such as the under-17 and 20, Chipolopolo and She-polopolo.
In the last three-year contract with MTN, the league got $200,000 (about K1.2m) and the Chipolopolo earned $250,000 (about K1.6m).

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