Last week, the local football giants Yanga and Simba signed a whopping five-billion shillings sponsorship deal with Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL).
Granted, although the lucrative deal represents a coup for both clubs, one wonders how the other clubs in the Mainland Premier League are supposed to compete against the financial clout that Yanga and Simba now wield and historically, have always wielded.
From this perspective then, it could be argued that the overwhelming dominance that these two clubs have enjoyed for decades is perfectly understandable.
Indeed, whereas the smaller clubs have to make do with little sponsorship from corporate companies, Yanga and Simba on the other hand, benefit from huge sponsorship deals which undoubtedly gives them an edge in the race for the title.
It is also important to note that the only club which has emerged in recent years to seriously challenge the hegemony of Yanga and Simba over local football is Azam, which has vast financial resources comparable to that enjoyed by the Jangwani street side and the Msimbazi street side. It has to be said though that Yanga and Simba are the two biggest clubs in the country with a rich pedigree to boot, hence the reason why companies are so eager to sponsor them.
However, it does seem unfair that smaller clubs in the country are arguably not even considered when it comes to sponsorship.
Let us extend this discussion a little further to consider the issue of sponsorship of other sports on the local sporting scene. Indeed, many commentators have pointed out that football receives the lion’s share of sponsorship in comparison to other sports.
Whereas other sports bodies seem to be perpetually short of funds, football on the other hand, always seems to have one sponsor or the other lining up to finance the running of the beautiful game.
Granted, although this is understandable, considering the popularity of the sport in the country, it also means that low profile sports are left to use the crumbs that fall from the high table of football. The end result of all this is that, the chances of minor sports doing well on the international stage are markedly reduced.
Lloyd Elipokea is a sports