Why there’s little corporate support in sports management

The corporate reluctance or little involvement in the sponsorship of sports does not augur well for the growth and development of the games in the country. Gone are the times when companies used to pump money into clubs, teams and even individual players.

Betting firms like Sportpesa, Mozzart, and Betika among others used to splash money and show their financial wherewithal but the trend has changed.

Only five clubs out of 18 in the Kenya Premier League have sponsors. The women’s Premier League has none. Rugby teams like KCB, Kabras and Menengai Oilers enjoy the goodwill of corporates.

Butali Sugar and Western Jaguars are the hockey teams with sponsorship while most teams in volleyball are institution teams. Safaricom used to sponsor Chapa Dimba na Safaricom youth tournaments while Coca-Cola and Brookside have come in handy for Secondary school games.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya NOC-K secretary general Francis Mutuku cited reluctance by the government to spend money on sports as an Achilles heel.

“There’s little government involvement in the management of sports. No one is best placed to finance sports than the government. Again, the economy is low, posing a big threat,” – he said.

“Golf and rally are some of the sports that have enjoyed total support from the government but the kind gesture needs to spread across.”

Mutuku added that the aspect of underdevelopment cannot be taken lightly while fans have a role to play.

“The viewership of the games entices sponsors but very few people attend matches in stadiums. Personalities in the corporate world matter a lot. Safaricom has been strong in sports because their top managers have a soft spot in sports.”

Former Vihiga Queens coach Alex Alumira reckons that the companies are on business and they normally look at the return on investment.

“It is all about advertisement and what will the company get in return. It’s about how far these organizations can reach out to their customers. The duration it will take to recoup the money,”

– Alumira pointed out.

“This is why corporates are not comfortable dealing with Kenyan football because it’s not easy to recoup the money. Selling players within the country does not guarantee money as opposed to European leagues. Clubs need to package themselves very well because corporates don’t want to associate with negativity.”

Alumira is three-time Women’s Premier League title winner with Vihiga.

Source: the-star.co.ke

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