The announcement not only saw the ‘vows’ being renewed after series of talks which had begun two year’s ago but also the ‘unveiling’ of Vodacom new boss Sipho Maseko, who is SA MD and Group’s chief operating officer, respectively.
This also allay talks that, the company was not keen to renew contracts owing to economical melt-down and international markets having an impact on the South African economy, amongst others.
Standard Bank, one of the sponsors to both teams did pull the plug amid business uncertainty.
Having backed the two Soweto giants for the past 18 years’, Vodacom has felt the value and the market penetration which these clubs have brought to the brand, should be valued in the form of extending the sponsorship.
Sipho Maseko, Managing Director Vodacom South Africa and Vodacom Group Chief Operating Officer, said it is indeed a pleasure to announce the addition of a further five years to the partnership.
“And, as a reflection of our passion for the game and unwavering support for the fans, I am delighted to announce that this momentous deal will change the nature of sports sponsorship in South Africa,” he said.
“We are no longer simply sponsoring a logo on a shirt – we are moving it up to the next level and changing the game by custom-creating a unique range of products and services exclusively for Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs that will not only benefit the supporters but the clubs themselves, in their race to maintain brand leadership.”
“The synergy between the unifying abilities of both football and telecommunications has been a game-changer.
“It has completely revolutionised the football experience and the relationship between fan and club, bringing them closer together than ever before. Over the course of our partnership, the combined influence of these powerful brands has brought about game-changing advances to the game that have seen Chiefs and Pirates leave the competition behind both on and off the field, while Vodacom, with a subscribership of 33 million, is firmly established as the telecommunications powerhouse in sub-Saharan Africa,” boasted the bespectacled Maseko.
Orlando Pirates’ boss Dr Irvin Khoza says, the influence of Vodacom goes deeper than simply furnishing funds to our club.
“Since the start of our partnership, we have learned many things together along the way about
professionalism, efficiency and the importance of always striving to maintain the highest standards possible. I am very happy to be able to continue this association, and look forward to even more joint success in the future,” he pointed out.
“We appreciate the contribution made by Vodacom to this club’s success: “We are grateful to have a partner of the calibre of Vodacom at our side,” says the club’s executive chairman Kaizer Motaung.
“Without their involvement over the past 14 years we would never have reached the heights we have, both on the field of play as well as with regard to the close relationship we enjoy with our
loyal fan base.”
Pressed how much has been invested, Khoza diplomatically said, in his true suave style: around A BILLION!
Itumeleng Khune, Chiefs goalminder says he looks forward to the renewal of the sponsorship and what it has instore for fans.
Meanwhile, the Vodacom Challenge is still on the pipe-line with teams, dates and venues to be named soon.