BANCABC look set to extend their sponsorship of Zimbabwean football giants Dynamos and Highlanders after expressing satisfaction with their five-year partnership with the country’s two biggest clubs.BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Alarm bells were already ringing in both the DeMbare and Bosso camps following reports that BancABC might not come back to bankroll the clubs when the current sponsorship deal expires at the end of the year.
The two giants, which have reportedly been facing financial challenges due to mounting debts, look set to be thrown a lifeline after the bank’s managing director, Joe Sibanda hinted in an interview with Standardsport that they were willing to renew their sponsorship.
Although he could neither deny nor confirm if a new deal was imminent, he said the financial institution was already in discussions with the two clubs and would soon announce their official position in due course.
“BancABC has been the proud sponsor of Dynamos and Highlanders football clubs since 2011 and we have a very sound and happy relationship,” Sibanda said.
“It is customary that each year, we have consultations to review performance and chart the way forward for the following season. We are currently involved in that consultative process and the bank, together with management from Dynamos and Highlanders, will share with you details of our plans going forward in due course,” he added.
Standardsport, however, can reveal that the pan-African financial services provider is set to extend its sponsorship of the two traditional football giants, although the finer details on the sponsorship packages are yet to be finalised.
Dynamos and Highlanders have enjoyed the privilege of the sponsorship since 2011, where BancABC pays salaries of the teams’ players and the technical staff, with the clubs taking care of winning bonuses and signing-on fees.
The financial institution went a step further to bankroll DeMbare during their 2011 Confederation of African Football Champions League campaign.
The initial deal expired in 2013 and was subsequently renewed for three more years.
The bank invested close to $1 million into each team per season and BancABC also helped them strike technical sponsorship deals with Adidas for the supply of kits and replicas.
In return, the club’s official sponsor, the BancABC logo, is displayed on the two teams’ apparel in all competitions they participate.
BancABC also had other sponsorship deals with other local clubs such as Black Rhinos, Chapungu and Flame Lily.
Apart from club sponsorship, BancABC also bankrolled a local knock-out tournament dubbed the BancABC Super8 Cup from 2011 to 2013.
BancABC’s imminent contract extension with Dynamos and Highlanders comes at a time the two clubs have been facing serious financial challenges.
Highlanders — the oldest club in the country with a rich history spanning almost nine decades — are reportedly facing a staggering debt of around $765 000, which has threatened the club’s survival.
Harare giants, Dynamos, have also not been spared as they are also in a similar, if not worse, predicament.
They continue to be hamstrung by a debt of around $250 000 owed to CBZ Bank Limited, which at one time ballooned to around $400 000.
DeMbare borrowed money from the bank to cater for their away trip to MC Algiers in Algeria for an African Champions League qualifier back in 2011.
In 2012, they failed to repay the loan, resulting in CBZ approaching the High Court, where they were granted a writ of execution to attach the club’s property and that of board and former executive members that had facilitated the loan.