NBL get Shs500m injection from Castle Lite

L-R: Fuba chief executive officer Marcus Kwikiriza, Nile Breweries trade marketing executive Douglas Karema and Fuba vice president Hudson Segamwenge during the briefing to unveil the sponsorship. PHOTOS/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

Of the kitty, Fuba, according to their chief executive officer (CEO) Marcus Kwikiriza, will receive “Shs200m”.

There are 500 million reasons to get hooked to the National Basketball League (NBL) this season.

At least that was the feeling, at the sunny terrace of Fairway Boutique Hotel yesterday morning, when Fuba announced they had secured Shs500m from Nile Breweries Limited brand Castle Lite, for the top division of their league this year.

According to Nile Breweries trade marketing executive Douglas Karema, “the deal is for one year and renewable depending on how it performs.”

Of the kitty, Fuba, according to their chief executive officer (CEO) Marcus Kwikiriza, will receive “Shs200m”.

“This sorts us completely in terms of operational costs. We have been suffering in the past to sort umpires and they nearly had a strike last week but we now believe that we will handle their payments,” Kwikiriza said, referencing that the money is an addition to the Shs150m from Stanbic Bank.

Clubs are set to benefit from the money. 

“Most importantly, we know for sure that the club owners and managers carry a lot of weight in terms of facilitating teams and we cannot commend you enough.”

More eyeballs

“So part of our resources, when the time is right, we will see how to give back to clubs and ease the pressure. But that means you can now use your resources to create a big fanbase from your clubs. That is a win-win situation that will help the clubs, Fuba and the sponsors.”

To add to the issue of building fanbases, Karema joked that the masses “can at least turn up for beer if they do not want the basketball,” as he explained that they will have activations and promotions during match days, where their products will be “sold at the recommended retail price unlike in the bars.”

Overall, basketball is making huge strides but still needs more eyeballs at courtside to survive. Among the six teams that started the league in 1995, only D-mark Power are still running.

It was in 2003 that the league was split to create divisions with 12 teams for the men’s top division and equal numbers in the women’s.

“Back then the league was self-sponsored and the teams paid to play. Now the league is one of the biggest brands of the federation and we are grateful to have reached this level,” Hudson Ssegamwenge, Fuba vice president – administration, said.

Fuba is convinced that they can now even resume discussions of “having prize money for the eventual league champions.”