After over four decades of existing as one of the most popular teams in East Africa, Gor Mahia have landed one heck of a sponsorship. The deal is worth Ksh 38 million over two years. It is the biggest sponsorship deal in the country.
There had been weeks of speculation and rumours ever since rumors started to circulate that a deal was in the offing. By the end of last week, most fans had dismissed it as yet another hoax. Further to that, Gor Mahia was the only top community team left without a sponsor. AFC Leopards, Mathare, Sofapaka and Thika United all had inked sponsorship deals. Even community rugby clubs like Mwamba and Harlequins had inked lucrative sponsorship deals. This left many wondering why Kogalo, the most popular team in Kenya could not land any sponsorship.
The last time Kogalo had any semblance of a sponsorship deal was 1991 when Kogalo sported shirts emblazoned with “International Casino”. It was a deal brokered by then chairman Joseph Ogode who was the MD and International Casino. However nobody knows what the deal was worth and the club was always flat broke and often failed to pay allowances.
Felix Otieno circa 1991
Sponsors have for years shied away from supporting community clubs, due the shambolic nature of Kenyan football. It is thus refreshing to see sponsors come forward. The football community must throw its support behind any company that supports football. Tusker have basically abandoned Kenya sports, whereas they are pouring millions into Tanzanian football. So rather than go to the bar and spend money on EABL products, football fans should spend the money buying Tuzo Lala for their loved ones. Gor Mahia supporters in particular must throw their support behind Tuzo. as you know, whether or not Tuzo renews the sponsorship after two years depends on whether their sales rise. So for Pete’s sake, support Kenya football by buying Tuzo.
The club officials must play their part by accounting properly for this money. The club does not belong to any individual. And if the money is not well accounted for, sponsors could pull out in order to avoid the bad publicity that comes with being associated corruption. On the other hand, judicious use of the sponsorship money could see the club return to the heights it scaled in the 1980s.
Fans must also play their part. Aside from buying Tuzo products, fans must behave well during matches in order to avoid giving the brand a bad name.