Botswana: Commercialisation Way to Go

Gaborone — Football teams should have proper structures to enable them to run as companies.

Speaking during a league transformation workshop for Police X1 in Gaborone on July 6, Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti, said the only way to make football sustainable was to commercialise.

He said this was the reason why there was a dedicated department at FIFA that focused on the professionalization of football internationally.

Letshwiti said the transformation project was important, noting that BFA and Botswana Premier League were not the only parties involved but FIFA as well, to ensure that BPL realised the set goals.

He added that FIFA would be focused on the constitution of BPL, commercialisation of the league as well as provision of online education to clubs.

Letshwiti indicated that Police X1 could also commercialise even though it was under Botswana Police.

"There is always a way, they can come in as a special member as long as they comply with everything in the compliance manual," he added.

He, however, noted that the process would take some time to be concluded, as the idea to commercialise football leagues was for them to be financially sustainable.

According to FIFA consultant Ashford Mamelodi, communication was critical for the success of every organisation.

He urged Police X1 to come up with a clear communication strategy that would also help develop a positive image.

He also advised that it was important to be open to the media to avoid any speculation on issues relating to the club.

Mamelodi said clubs should not only rely on public relations officers to disseminate their messages, adding that it was a limited scope of communication, hence the need to employ other platforms such as websites.

He highlighted that it was much easier for clubs to secure sponsorships when they developed a positive image, seen on television, newspapers etc. in a positive light.

"Communication is one of the key cornerstones of football development. In a professional set up a club cannot succeed without clear communication because they engage sponsors, who want to know that their products are well promoted," he said.

He also noted that a club without supporters would not make it in the commercial world, adding that business people needed assurance of return on their investment.

Mamelodi emphasised the need for clubs to engage marketing professionals, to come up with marketing plans.

He said marketing was not only about sponsors but very much about the club, adding that clubs should be clear on how they run their affairs in order to attract sponsors.

He said the marketing strategy would guide the club for future growth. Pertaining to leadership, Mamelodi said it was very much part of governance, adding that a good leader should have the ability to positively influence his/her team.

Mamelodi advised Police X1 to create an environment which was independent of Botswana Police command in order to successfully commercialise.

Source : BOPA

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