CAPS United have started the new soccer season by conquering their local rivals off the pitch. They have signed a lucrative deal with a UK-based company, Virtual Media Technologies (VMT), which could see the transformation of the club into a global brand drawing revenue and selling its merchandise and membership to thousands of its fans across the world replicating the model that has transformed the economies of most elite clubs in Europe, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
The deal, which was recently signed with VMT, will see CAPS United launching its official website in partnership with the IT giant based in Scotland.
CAPS United yesterday also unveiled their new kit for the 2016 season at a function in Harare where coach Lloyd Chitembwe promised to take care of the supporters feelings in a good way this season by ending the league drought and reiterated that he has assembled one of the best teams in the club’s history.
Chitembwe assured the CAPS family that this might be their year.
The club last won a league trophy in 2005.
This season the club would be dressed by Raw after cutting ties with Joma.
“We have assembled the best players and they have given me an impression that they are here to fight.
“I strongly believe that we have what it takes to take care of the emotions of our fans. I am sure this time around we will take care of your feelings and we believe this is the right moment and we have everything at our disposal.
“We are excited for the season to start. We just cannot wait. I can assure you we will be winning more matches than we will lose,” said Chitembwe.
At the unveiling, all the old and new players were introduced to the CAPS United family in a ceremony which was also attended by the club chairman Lewis Uriri, and other board members — Modercai Sachikonye, Abraham Kawadza, Cuthbert Chitima and Alois Bunjira.
All the players, led by skipper Method Mwanjali, each had the chance to address the gathering pledging their commitment to the club.
CAPS United have brought in a host of players including Allan Gahadzikwa, Cabby Kamhapa, Amon Kambanji, Devon Chafa, Abbas Amidu, Archieford Gutu and Dennis Dauda.
They have also re-united with Tafadzwa Rusike, Ronald Pfumbidzayi and goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda.
Their deal with the VMT CAPS United is expected to put Makepekepe at the cutting edge of interactive technology, bringing the club in line with some of the continent’s leading sides and to pursue their vision of becoming a continental giant and a thriving business, able to sustain consistent challenges for both domestic and continental honours.
From a commercial perspective, the new platform is expected to earn CAPS United no less than $100 000 within the first year through the sale of merchandise and advertising on the platform. It is estimated by both parties that the deal has the potential to reach revenue levels of around $250 000 per year within the next three years depending on the success of the club in the domestic league and continental competitions.
CAPS United club president and majority shareholder Farai Jere revealed that his team is the first local club to pursue such an ambitious project which seeks to not only provide an accurate and official narrative of the club in real time but also seeks to empower the fans.
“Our partnership with Virtual Media Technologies was well thought through and is desirable in line with current contemporary developments in world football where ITC has become the backbone of commercial viability for most clubs in the world.
“We felt that CAPS United should not be left out but should embrace technology as a business. We have confidence in our partners VMT, they are both credible and reputable. We hope that our marriage will grow and lead to further developments,” Jere said.
A spokesperson for Virtual Media, Marshall Gore, said:
“I’m very passionate about football in general and it’s obviously very exciting to be involved in a project like this which combines my biggest passions: football and the use of technology to knock down barriers. CAPS (United) is an iconic brand in Zimbabwe and anyone with a passing knowledge of the game knows that CAPS has always given every generation a team to talk about.
“The club is synonymous with vibrant attacking football and Virtual Media Technologies are excited at the prospect of giving the Makepekepe family a platform to showcase what a fantastic club this is. Make no mistake this deal will transform Zimbabwean football and set precedence for the rest of the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League clubs to pen out effective strategies of embracing technology.”
CAPS United’s marketing director Bunjira, who helped to broker the deal on behalf of his club, was similarly excited at the prospect and commercial opportunity presented by the partnership, commented.
“This is a bold step in the right direction for Makepekepe and we’re sure others will be forced to follow suit. The platform we’re creating will allow members of the CAPS United family to not only stay up to date on the happenings within the club, it will also give us the distinction of being the first club in the country to take this step.
“We’re always looking to be pioneers in whatever we do and this is just another instance of this and our fans should be immensely proud and excited.”— www.capsutd.com/sports <http://www.capsutd.com/sports> reporter.