Saturday, 10 November 2007

GTV does another 1st

Money talks! Well GTV talks these sides of the Sahara! In what seems to be an aggressive drive to take the sports world in East & Central if not the greater Africa, GTV signed what is up to now the biggest sponsorship deal with any sporting body an estimated KShs. 402 million deal with CECAFA-the body that runs football in East & Central Africa. This contract’s details are as follows;
o 4-year deal for the coverage and exclusive rights for the screening of any event organized by CECAFA i.e. both the club championships and national teams challenge cup;
o Travel, accommodation and related costs for the hosts and playing nations (& clubs);
o Prize money at KShs. 2.04million (approx. US$30910) for the winners of the Senior Challenge Cup, 1.02 Million (approx. US$15455) for the runners-up and KShs.510000 for the third-placed team for the same.
This covers a period of 4 years starting this year. I’m sure some sports officials are already salivating with the hungry ones maybe planning an assault on the goodies. But GTV executives have made it very clear; this commitment is to enhance the growth and appreciation of the game in the region after suffering a serious lull in the last few years.
After the Ethiopian millionaire pulled the plug on the sponsorship which he had done for 3 years running and the non-committal nature of the Rwandese president Paul Kagame who had helped mould the championships in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As one Nicholas Musonye, the Secretary-General of CECAFA noted, this couldn’t have come at a better time. With the World Cup coming to Africa in 2010 (that’s if South Africa doesn’t jeopardize its chances), the region badly needs a tournament to play to be able to compete with other countries on the continent. The incentive though small goes a big way in helping bring together the teams most of which have had dismal pasts in the continental challenge.
I’ve always advocated for greater involvement from major corporates in the region. This is a wake up call again and again. With the countdown for SA 2010 on, I can assure you this ain’t the last we hear of them big boys throwing some few bucks towards the game. But who minds anyway?

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