Sport stakeholders pin hopes on SRC, MAZ partnership

25 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Sport stakeholders pin hopes on SRC, MAZ partnership Gillian Rusike

The Herald

Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter

SPORT stakeholders have described the marriage between the Sport and Recreation Commission and the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe as the beginning of a new era for sport in this country.

The two bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week in which the MMA conducts sport marketing workshops with different sporting associations as the Sports Commission aims to see a complete transformation in which sport is being run.

Often, sporting associations have failed to send teams to regional and international tournaments citing lack of funding and the country, in the process, has lost potential medals.

Instead of being a multi-billion-dollar industry with a potential to significantly contribute to the country’s GDP, sport has largely been run in an amateurish manner in this country with instances where parents end up being forced to fork out money to fund for their children’s participation.

But all that could become a thing of the past with the landmark union between the Sports Commission and MMA.

Some of the agreed issues in the MoU have since commenced with sport administrators set to benefit from different activities, including workshops and a six-month long Digital Marketing Training.

MMA Executive Secretary, Gillian Rusike, said the deal will completely transform local sport.

“After entering an MoU with the Sports and Recreation Commission, we hope to equip sports administrators with the requisite understanding of marketing.

“Marketing creates the demand. Sport in general is a good product but if it lacks the necessary marketing, it will definitely lack the demand from the sport fans themselves and the sponsors as well.

“We have assured the Sports Commission that if they are to implement marketing correctly, the sports fraternity will be completely transformed. In marketing, we believe if things are done well in a proper manner, it will generate revenue which is needed,” said Rusike.

“Sport creates employment and it also contributes to the image of the nation, so we have got a lot of work to do in terms of issues like reputation management right from the athletes themselves.

“You look at the players of yesteryear, your Peter and Adam Ndlovus, these are the personalities that we know, unlike now you can meet sportspersons and fail to realise who they are.

“It is because there is a serious lack of marketing in the fraternity. There is no inspiration to the young generation that is coming from the current sportspersons”.

Rusike said they were hitting the ground running implementing some of the measures that will see sports marketing becoming a topical issue.

“We are exploring ways to try and manage all that including the use of digital platforms because that is where everyone is at the moment.

“The partnership will certainly transform sport in this country.

“First and foremost, we will work on a number of workshops bringing together the business and sport fraternity together where we will identify the errors which we all need to correct.

“We will also call upon volunteers from the marketing fraternity to work with different sport associations. We want results from the sporting fraternity and we will be working with all the 64 sport bodies to ensure each and every one of them benefits.”

And the initiative has received plaudits from key sport stakeholders.

Sports Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe president, Russle Mhiribidi, a leading voice in the need to run sport well in this country, said the partnership is a step in the right direction.

“This is definitely a giant step forward. Partnerships like these are what our sport industry needs to grow to its potential. I would like to salute the Sports Commission and the MMA for coming up with this unique arrangement,” said Mhiribidi.

“You look at all our sports, there is a general lack of appeal both from the business side and the fans. That shows a lack of proper marketing and that gap needs to be bridged. We look forward to seeing everything being done properly in the future.

“Sports administrators need marketing education and this is what the MMA is bringing, a genius step by the Sports Commission”.

Newly-appointed Dynamos executive chairman, Moses Maunganidze, saluted the Sports Commission for the move.

“I think the Sports Commission have managed to identify the problem and the solutions are imminent given this union,” he said.

“If you look at football, fans have been leaving the game not necessarily because their teams have not been playing well.

“The reason has been the lack of good marketing of the game.

“We need to rebrand and move with the times. I think this partnership is a masterstroke”.

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