Dynamos and Highlanders are not happy about the technical sponsorship deal with Germany sports apparel manufacturer Adidas.
REPORT BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
While they have appeared in public as excited, the clubs feel it is a raw three-year deal with no substantial benefits.
Adidas are now the official suppliers of training and match kits and other related apparel for the two clubs, in a deal brokered by a local bank who are the two team’s prime sponsors.
Each club has been supplied with 2 500 replica jerseys and will be gaining a meagre 7% from the sale of each shirt which costs US$50 and translates to a total of US$8 750 earned by either club.
Sponsorship does not cascade down to junior teams and so far each club has been given one set playing kit.
Away from a regular sponsorship arrangement enjoyed by most clubs endorsed by Adidas where teams wear a new kit every game, Dynamos and Highlanders would be provided with more kits depending on the number of replicas they sell.
After glowingly praising Adidas in his speech during the launch of the deal in Harare recently, Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa now has different thoughts.
“Taking 7% from the sale of each jersey does not take us anywhere. That is an area we need to sort out as early as possible,” said Mubaiwa.
“It is important that we engage Adidas directly and iron out these matters. Another issue is of distribution. The kits need to come directly from Adidas without passing through the hands of a third party.”
Club secretary Webster Chike-ngezha also expressed dissatisfaction with the nature of the deal.
“We have said it from the word go, that obviously we would have wanted to gain more from this deal. We just accepted what we were offered because we had not been associated with a big brand like Adidas before,” said Chikengezha.
A senior Highlanders official complained that while other teams are paid for using the world-acclaimed brand, they have to make do with little financial rewards while they market Adidas.
“The US$8 750 we are going to be getting from the sale of replicas is far short of the club’s one week operation costs. It is a raw deal and anyone can see that. We have just accepted this kind of sponsorship hoping there will be improvements in future. Maybe for a start it is fine,” said the official.
He said the clubs are grand football institutions with local support, as well as ardent following from Zimbabweans dotted around the world, which is an assurance that the Adidas brand would be immensely marketed.
While the clubs are complaining that so far they have each received only one set of kit and had little input in striking the deal which was facilitated by BancABC, the bank’s managing director Hashmon Matemera said the teams have not registered their displeasure with them.
“We do not have any information that the clubs are not happy. We talk to the teams every day but they have raised no such issue. We have an open policy where they are free to talk to us on anything,” said Matemera.
Finer details of Adidas sponsorship with other teams are usually public but details of the Highlanders-Dynamos endorsement are shrouded in secrecy.
Adidas South Africa senior brand marketing manager Michelle Dobson declined to disclose the deal’s specifics.
“The teams get an allocated amount of kit to see them through the season [the kit requirements are drawn up in consultation with the clubs],” Dobson told Standardsport.
“We have finalised a long-term sponsorship with both clubs in which we hope to be able to take them to the next level by providing top-end product and expertise. It’s a long term contract but we’re unable to share the exact duration. At this stage we only sponsor the first teams,” Dobson said.
There are no player endorsements where individuals would be strictly required to use only Adidas apparels.
Dynamos and Highlanders have full internationals that could be fit for personal sponsorship.