Zimbabwe's top flight league the Premier Soccer League (PSL) received a timely boost ahead of the resumption of local football next weekend following the unveiling of a sponsorship deal in excess of U$3 million for the next three years with traditional sponsors, Delta Beverages.
The new sponsorship deal, which was unveiled at a ceremony in Harare on Thursday, will see the PSL receiving US$$1 130 000 per season for the PSL Championship and the Chibuku Super Cup.
The money will be payable in local currency at the bank rate of the day.
The sponsorship package was announced by Delta Corporation General Manager, Patricia Murambinda.
She told guests at the launch ceremony in Harare Thursday that Delta were committed to seeing the resumption of domestic football after a year of absence due to Covid-19.
The sponsorship package will be channelled towards three competitions up to 2023.
"Delta is excited to announce the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League sponsorship package for the 2021-2023 period. 2021 will be an exciting season for all, with various activities lined up to restart our game in Zimbabwe despite the Covid-19 challenges," said Murambinda.
PSL chairman Farai Jere (left), Delta Beverages General Manager, Patricia Murambinda (centre) and Delta's Sparkling Beverages general manager Moses Gambiza pose with a dummy check during the unveiling of a three year sponsorship deal for the PSL in Harare on Thursday
The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League will get the lion's share of US$700 000 per season while US$375 000 has been set aside for the Chibuku Super Cup that begins next week.
Another US$55 000 will go towards the season-ending Castle Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup features the winner of the main Castle Lager Premiership and the Chibuku Super Cup.
The new season will get underway next weekend with the Chibuku Super Cup which will be played under a new format where teams have been put in groups in an effort to manage a safe resumption of football after a year of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The previous format was a direct knockout but the new format will see clubs meeting in round-robin matches. The top two teams from each group will proceed to the quarter-finals.
The semi-finals will be paired by the public drawing of the lots. The tournament is expected to run for six to eight weeks.
The Premier League season is expected to get underway in July.
The sponsorship launch comes after the PSL signed a broadcast partnership agreement with Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN)
Under the arrangement, ZTN are expected to broadcast PSL matches, by livestreaming them on their online television platforms, in a pay-per-view model.
The first matches are expected to go on air next week, when the season-opening Chibuku Super Cup tournament, featuring the 18 top-flight clubs, gets underway across four venues.
Local football fans will be able to watch the matches online using their various gadgets.