The Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) has landed a one year sponsorship deal from United Purpose, after severing ties with Masters Security Services.
The deal is worth K11 million and will run on a year long trial basis.
United Purpose is a non-governmental organisation specialised in the manufacturing and distribution of environmental friendly charcoal-burners, called Chitetezo Mbaula, hence the league will be known as the Chitetezo Mbaula Southern Region Football League.
Making the announcement during a press briefing in Blantyre on Tuesday, United Purpose’ Programs Manager for Ernergy , Lloyd Archer said his organisation has ventured into football sponsorship to use the sport as a vehicle of promoting their product to the rural areas.
“Football has a global appeal, so we want to use it to reach out to people in the rural areas and educate them on the need to use our product. We want to make the Chitetezo Mbaula a household name in the south by the end of the season,” said Archer.
On why they decided to go with a year long deal, Archer said: “We are new in football sponsorship so we want to give a trial, if it becomes successful then we will renew it for the long term.”
Reacting to the news, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu said he was overwhelmed and touched.
“This league has gone through lots of sponsorship hassles, so I am excited that United Purpose has come to their rescue. The league is vital to the development of football in the country as it continues to produce lots of talented players, so this deal is timely and commendable,” said Nyamilandu.
The FAM supremo then assured the new sponsors that the league is the perfect platform to help them in growing their brand.
“All other sponsors that have come and gone have seen their respective brands grow through the league, so I am very positive that Chitetezo Mbaula will gain tremendous mileage and am sure this deal will be extended beyond the agreed period,” he said.
In his remarks, SRFA Chairman Raphael Humba assured the soccer fraternity that the assocition will safeguard the deal by exercising utmost transparency and accountability.
“It has taken us six months to close this deal, so we will do all we can to keep the sponsors for long,” he said.
Humba also stressed to the sponsors that they will ensure that they get lots of returns through the agreement.
“This will be a win-win deal. We will encourage all our teams and their families to buy the Mbaula. We will also set up shops in all districts in conjunction with the sponsors to make the product readily available all over the south” said Humba who along with Nyamilandu bought one Mbaula each during the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Humba refused to disclose the reasons behind the termination of the contract with Masters. The K10.5 million contract was signed in 2016 and had a year left.
However Masters proved tricky sponsors by failing to honour some of their contractual obligations in time.
The 2017 season prize presentation ceremony was long delayed by their failure to timely release the money.
Worse still, the cheques presented to the premier and division one champions are yet to be cashed because there is no money in the account.
The new season which was initially slated for 5 May,is set to kick off this Saturday with the official launch going to Mangochi.