Airtel take over Cranes
Posted Tuesday, October 29 2013 at 09:02
KAMPALA- As one company secured bragging rights at the Serena gardens yesterday morning, another went on their business just a dive away as if nothing was happening.
Red was the colour at the Serena event but a towering yellow poster – with wonderful words about a Cranes partnership with telecommunication company MTN – hovered over from the South African company’s headquarters – just a step away.
But that big, bold and beautiful yellow poster could soon be brought down as the alluring title of Uganda Cranes official sponsors has since been taken over by red; by rivals Airtel Uganda for the next four years.
Whether Airtel will supply free red Cranes jerseys to everyone that enters Namboole is another piece of speculation but what is real is Airtel can now for the first time paint the 40,000-seater facility red and be boss every time Uganda are in action.
Although deeper financial details of the deal were not disclosed, it is just over Shs1b per year – making it Shs4.2b over four years.
It also includes sponsorship of the Ugandan Cup and the Fufa Big League (lower tier league).
Of that, Uganda Cranes will get Shs950m – the biggest chunk, with the Big League and Uganda Cup getting Shs100m every year over the four years. Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic said: “The Uganda Cranes has earned admiration for the dedication, their desire and distinctive touch.
“We are grateful to Airtel for talking up the commitment to support them.”
Airtel Managing Director V.G Somasekhar called it an honour. “We are honoured to further strengthen our relationship with Ugandans through football and in particular Uganda Cranes,” he said.
Moses Magogo, the Fufa president, welcomed the venture.
“Football fans are passionate, loyal and community-oriented – qualities Airtel share and embody everyday as they seek to help their customers.”
This is the first time the Big League will have sponsorship while the Uganda Cup will be relieved after Uganda Breweries Limited did not renew their deal last year.
Airtel take over from MTN, whose Shs1.4b three-year deal with Cranes had expired by the time of the latest development.
4.2b: Highest deal the national team - Cranes have ever been involved in.
13b: Highest deal to be signed in Uganda (SuperSport & USL).
October 2013: Signed four-year deal to sponsor Cranes, Big League & Uganda Cup
September 2011: Signed three-year deal with Nile to cater for players’ welfare
September 2010: Renewed deal by improving it to Shs1.4b from Shs900m signed for the hitherto three years.