Since Gor Mahia signed a sponsorship deal with Sportpesa, the club has released at least half a dozen different jersey designs. This means that by now, ardent Kogalo fans could have all six jersey designs in their closet or wardrobe.
Unfortunately the club is not taking advantage of these merchandizing opportunities.Most fans who purchase jerseys are still purchasing the old jerseys from 2010 which are made by enterprising businessmen and sold at River road or elsewhere.
If you attend a Kogalo match, you still see fans predominantly wearing these old jerseys.
And opportunities for merchandizing are limitless: Caps, pens, hats, Tshirts, calendars. Back 30 years ago, the club created a calendar to commemorate the continental triumph. Yours truly remembers remembers visiting many relatives who had this calendar plastered on their walls.
Calendars and other items can be made to commemorate various occassions such as when the club won the league unbeaten (1976 and 2015), when the club won the league after a 18 year hiatus (2013) and so forth.
But it requires fans to be educated on where to buy jerseys such that the club benefits.
Kogalo are always facing intense competition from clubs in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa for the services of key players. Which means the club should always be looking for opportunities to market the club’s merchandize.
Gor Mahia official Naima Aketch has announced that there are new jerseys available for sale. The Joma labeled jerrseys will be available for sale at the club offices located at Nyayo Stadium, Sports Jazz shop at Kenya Cinema second floor. This according to a story on futaa.com
For Kisumu based fans the jerseys will be available at Urban Radio Sports day set for 11 October.
If these jerseys become popular, it is inevitable that there will be plenty of illicit knock-offs available. To support the club, fans need to buy only from approved locations. Several months ago, the club chairman Ambrose Rachier indicated that the club did not make money from jersey sales because virtually all the jerseys being sold were knock-offs.
Fracas at the Stadium
Meanwhile Naima Aketch, popularly known as Ferrari min Bentley was apparently involved in a fracas at the City stadium last weekend.
According to eye witnesses, Anima, Gor’s deputy Secretary General, simply walked to where Kisero was seated, slapped her in the face and then hit her with an expensive smartphone. “I don’t know why she attacked me. I was seated with friends and sort of turned my face into her slap. Before I could comprehend what was going on, she hit me with her phone and walked off,” narrated Kisero to the Standard.
However, Ferrari refuted the claims, saying she only challenged her to explain why she was spreading rumours that she (Anima) was moving around with the Ulinzi captain. Ochola is Kisero’s husband- even though the two have since separated, while Anima is married to an ardent Gor fan she met during a football match. Anima went ahead to say, “I filed a report at Nyayo Stadium Police Station on September 22, way before that incident. Kisero has been telling people that I am dating her ex-husband, Stephen Ochola. This really annoyed me because Ochola and I have been good friends for a very long time now. I am married and my husband knows about my friendship with Ochola,” said Anima. Both were members of Kogalo divas
Kenya Premier League side [KPL] Gor Mahia FC has completed signing a three year kit sponsorship deal with Italy based Sports Studio company to fully kit the club. The new kits with the company’s Joma brand name will be launched on Wednesday July 23 at 680 hotel, Nairobi. This according to futaa.com
With the club having lost its primary sponsor Tuzo, the next best source of finances is the fan base and the general public. And there is no limit to what kind of Gor Mahia branded merchandize can be sold in partnership with Joma because Joma markets everything from polo jerseys to shoes to gym bags and T Shirts.
When Gor Mahia signed a similar deal with Legea in 2011, only 10% of the proceeds from merchandize sales were to go into the club’s kitty. This lopsided deal left many fans disgruntled and many decided to purchase the official Legea-Tuzo jerseys altogether. One certainly hopes that the club management has learned from that experience.
Piracy and fake merchandize
A second issue that was not properly addressed last time was the issue of piracy. In fact Chairman Ambrose Rachier once claimed that Gor Mahia makes no money from merchandize due to piracy. Which means according to Mr. Rachier that all the jerseys you see at the stadium added nothing to the club’s coffers. This can be addressed by educating fans on the locations that are selling legitimate merchandize. This will also solve the third issue which is that some fans often find it difficult to buy club merchandize.