Phillip Zulu in LEEDS, England
THE recent Umbro kit sponsorship deal signed by the company representatives and the current ZIFA president Felton Kamambo in Harare raises greater hope and confidence in stabilising the image of all our national football teams on the international stage.
Our national teams has long been in the doldrums of obscurity in terms of the image, branding and product positioning of our football standards on the global scale. By simply witnessing the ceremony in motion as reality sunk in, that our current image is dire, the new leadership is showing positive efforts of rebranding the national teams.
ZIFA are moving in the right direction of realising that the branding of our national teams is strategic, holistic and a delicate business engagement that needs clear parameters and management systems that can bring in financial returns that will make it sustainability possible on a long-term basis.
The current status of ZIFA calls for serious and careful considerations that can help bring a new culture of profitability, sustainability and improved competitiveness on the field of play as we channel our efforts and energies on improving the quality of our international performances.
Our rankings on the FIFA ratings have been affected by a period of stagnation when we slid from the top 50 to outside the elite 120 nations in the world.
The Umbro sponsorship deal, on paper, looks exciting and a good business deal to start with as we stoically stumble back on our stability and confidence, ZIFA should take drastic measures without delay in putting measures in place that are designed to market these kits to the vast majority of football fans across the globe.
The one million target agreed by both parties brings to the fore a combination of vast opportunities that are abound and the inertia highly associated with ignoring the latent potential economies underlying in our expansive communities around the world.
In terms of the marketing fundamentals, ZIFA should take a holistic approach of identifying the four Ps — product, place, price and people. This invariably clears distortions of wild celebrations of the biblical manner waiting in vain sermons, where we start to think that Umbro is here to drop manna to our national teams.
ZIFA’s marketing directorate should be on an overdrive of a heightened awareness in trying to position the Umbro product as part of the national teams’ brand and kick-start a new financial activity that could bring profitability to the organisation on a long-term strategy.
Maybe before ZIFA embark on a sales agenda in their marketing brief, an imperative thorough internal marketing audit is the answer.
Conducting an independent internal audit gives all stakeholders the true impediments blighting the image of the national football association in operations, internal management systems, cash flow streams and the current leadership demands over-bearing on the new challenges facing the organisation.