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‘No increase in TNM league sponsorship’

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Super League sponsors, TNM, have said the league’s sponsorship would remain at K90 million for the next two seasons due to the current economic challenges the country is facing.

TNM’s chief commercial officer Dan Makata was responding to The Sunday Times’ query about whether the company was considering increasing the sponsorship package so that the teams could earn more prize money next season.

TNM increased the sponsorship from K65 million to K90 million last season and this consequently led to the increase in the champions’ prize money from K9 million to K15 million.

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Makata said the company would consider increasing renewing the sponsorship in 2018 after the expiry of the current one.

“Even though we made a commitment to sponsor the league at K65 million per season in the current contract, we increased the sponsorship to help the clubs mitigate some of the effects of the unpredictable economy.

That shows our commitment and our passion to develop football in the country,” he said.

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“It is understandable that we the changes in the economy, it is logical to increase sponsorship.

But, as a company, we are also operating in the same economy therefore we feel the pinch of the changes in the economy too. The sponsorship value will remain like it is at the moment.”

Makata added that TNM would introduce new initiatives in the 2016 season to make the league more “competitive”.

“We will always assess the progress of the league and look at the areas we can improve on. We are happy that we are achieving our objectives of sponsoring the league. We wanted to develop football, remove violence from football and ensure that league matches are peaceful so that families could go to the stadiums to enjoy the game. All that is happening,” he said.

He said TNM’s 10-year marriage with Super League of Malawi (Sulom) would not end soon.

“We will always be with the Super League. We want this to remain the best league in the country. It will take a 0.10 magnitude earthquake to take TNM away from football sponsorship,” he said.

Sulom president Innocent Bottoman praised TNM for sticking with the sponsorship even when the league was facing several challenges such as violence and hooliganism.

“Now we have seen improvement in the quality of the league. The patronage has also improved. For instance, last season there was an increase in gate revenue collection from K182 million to K314 million. The teams benefitted a lot from this. We will do our best to safeguard this sponsorship,” he said.

The 2016 season is set to kick off this April.

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