The Namibia Premier League is now on the hunt to secure 21 million for the game of football. This comes after the league chairperson Johnny Doeseb announced that after long talks with potential sponsors, they have been able to secure a commitment of N$3 million annually for the next three seasons. The sponsorship comes from the coffers of local infrastructure development company Groot Systems (Pty) Ltd. The owner of the company, Simon Kapenda was not present at the sponsorship announcement yesterday at the NFA House. “The NPL has been hard at work and at times we have even gone beyond the call of duty to make sure that football is played again. Today, we have made a breakthrough and were able to win the trust of the company Groot Systems (Pty) Ltd. that has committed to sponsor the league with N$3 million annually for the next three years,” said league spokesperson Cassius Moeti. Legal processes surrounding the sponsorship agreement between the two parties are still underway and are expected to be finalized early next week and the media is yet to be informed of the signing ceremony. The NPL claims that it has knocked on the doors of 37 companies of which only two responded. The chairperson did not mention the name of the second respondent. “We as football administrators feel the pinch in which the league finds itself. Not only players are affected but the whole nation so we had to go out there and find solutions. So going into the negotiations, we were mindful that we were going to breakthrough,” explained Doeseb. During the hunt for league sponsorship, the NPL designed a sponsorship package that clearly stipulates the benefits any potential sponsor is to enjoy. Potential sponsor can thus sponsor the league via the Platinum Status for N$24 million p/a, Gold Status for N$15 million p/a, Silver Status for N$5 million p/a or the Bronze Status for N$3 million p/a.
This means that the sponsorship from Groot Systems of N$3 million per annum falls under the Bronze Status. In return, the company will enjoy the benefits such as branding at matches of 4 perimeter boards at all NPL match venues, co-branding on the back of the players shirts of 36 nationwide First Division Teams and on the players short of 36 Nationwide First Division Teams, enjoy media coverage at league launches and functions, Backdrop pre and post-match interviews, Distribution of flyers and promotional materials at 80 NPL matches, advertising on the NPL and NFA websites. “It is difficult to find a company in Namibia that will give us N$ 24 million annually to support football hence we came up with these packages,” expounded the chairperson. The mission of the company Groot Systems (Pty) Ltd, as cited from its website, is ‘To solve economic challenges others seem to ignore.’
According to media reports, in 2014, the company promised to construct a 900 megawatt (MW) combined cycle turbine gas power plant in Walvis Bay and a multi-million dollar glass factory at Tses in the South. The dilemma in which the NPL finds itself was birthed when the league’s long term sponsors MTC withdrew their provisional sponsorship of N$15 per annum after the NPL failed to secure the additional N$9 million at an agreed date in order to start the league on a clean slate. Since then, affected parties have been calling out for the corperate fraternity to come on board and help save football in the country. Just two weeks ago, football enthusiasts made up of coaches, ex- and active players, referees, medics, team owners and managers and fans met for an indaba to open dialogue on the state of football in Namibia at Eldorado Secondary School in the capital. Yesterday, the DTA Youth League send out an open letter expressing the party’s disappointment toward the lack of interest from the corperate sector to come on board.
“For the most widely watched and supported sports in Namibia, it is sad that the NPL has to be brought to its knees first before any Namibian company felt a strong enough corporate social responsibility to invest in Namibian youth by investing in Namibian football.” “The DTA-YL pleads to the Namibian business fraternity to not rest on their laurels because one sponsor has come forward, but to rather see that as a worthy example to follow. It is time that the rest of the Namibian Business Community joined forces with MTC and others and shared the burden of promoting football in Namibia,” read the letter authored by the league Secretary General Bensen Katjirijova. To this date, even if a sponsor comes on board, this does not mean the league will start with the available N$3 million only. As per the budget of the NPL, the league can only start once there is full N$24 million.