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Big Bullets close in on K500m deal

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You can loosely call it a sponsorship, but Big Bullets have penned an unprecedented five-year K500 million business partnership pre-contract with tobacco company, Nyasa Manufacturing Company Limited (NMC).

In a deal that is expected to financially turnaround the TNM Super League defending champions, Bullets chairperson, Sammy Chilunga and Nyasa managing director, Democritos Kalaitzis, confirmed that the company will inject K100 million annually into the team.

“This is the best thing that has ever happened to Bullets since 1967. It is a strategic business partnership. They will finance us and use the team’s supporters’ base to enhance their brand. The money will be given in monthly tranches,” Chilunga explained about the agreement effective January 2016.

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“The deal requires the right mind, right attitude, right work ethics and above all, accountability and integrity. The train has left, it is not stopping. Along the way, it will drop people and pick some for enhancement of the BB brand and NMC brand and sales. It is not sponsorship. It is hard work.”

Unlike other football support, Bullets will have to earn their money as they have been asked to, through their structures of supporters, sell Nyasa brand of cigarettes such as Super King, 2010 Menthol, Super Menthol and Nyasa Fodya. NMC is the only local company that produces cigarettes using 100 percent Malawian tobacco.

The actual main contract signing ceremony is expected next month in Blantyre followed by other activities across the country to celebrate the deal that has Nyasa challenging Bullets to increase the company’s sales and win, at least, two trophies every season as among pre-conditions.

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Bullets will also be required to establish a secretariat and employ an accountant.

Chilunga said Fam, through president, Walter Nyamilandu, helped in providing reference to Bullets during negotiations and getting a clearance from Fifa over the involvement of the tobacco company in the team.

Bullets were last, a decade ago, sponsored by Big Bullets Holdings Limited. Previous sponsors were Cifu Group of Companies (K50 million), Total Malawi Limited (K3 million), former president Bakili Muluzi (K15 million for five years) and Bata Shoe Company. NMC has provided the team its biggest sponsorship.

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