Good times are set to roll for local football after the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and Bangladesh-based Total Sports Marketing (TSM) signed a dream multi-million dollar media, sponsorship and commercial rights deal on Tuesday last week.
The mega deal brokered by Zifa boss Phillip Chiyangwa and signed by TSM chief executive officer Moinul Haque Chowdury, could see the football association netting around $40 to $100 million for hosting an intercontinental tournament for the next eight years.
The figures will however, depend on the number and class of the teams that will agree to participate in this competition, which will be dubbed the “Robert Mugabe Afro-Asia Intercontinental Football Tournament”.
Former Sport minister David Coltart believes it will be a major breakthrough for Zimbabwean football if the deal comes to fruition.
“Everyone is waiting anxiously to see the first edition of the tournament. It’s good business, only if we start seeing the colour of the money. We all hope for change,” Coltart said.
Former PSL boss Chris Sambo hailed Chiyangwa for securing such a deal, but called on Zifa to tread carefully.
“The figures are extremely big, but Zifa must be careful. If you remember, when we took part in the Medeca Cup, it was a multi-nation tournament, but it was the genesis of Asiagate. We might find ourselves being used by these betting Asian tigers. The figures are scaring me,” Sambo said.
Chiyangwa beat his chest when contacted to confirm the authenticity of the deal.
“What else do people want? This organisation [TSM] is not new to Zimbabwe sport. All we need to do is believe and move forward. Give this deal time and people will start believing,” Chiyangwa said.
According to the contract obtained by Standardsport, Zifa has granted TSM all the commercial rights.
“The two parties herein agree that the licensor (Zifa) grants to the licensee (TSM) all commercial rights including, but not limited to global media broadcast and distribution rights to retain all revenue from ticket sales and gatetakings and all sponsorship rights in respect of President Robert Mugabe Intercontinental Tournament or any other tournament referred to in this document and in return the licensee shall bear all costs of hosting, as well as bear the cost for the live production of the said tournament,” the agreement reads.
“Essentially, the Robert Mugabe tournament or any other tournament that the parties may agree upon shall be hosted at no cost to the licensor with the licensee responsible for all the costs as stated herein as the consideration for the commercial, ticketing, media and sponsorship rights granted to the licensee,” reads part of the contract.
“The licensee (TSM), therefore, has the obligation to fund all the start-up and operating costs associated with the hosting of the tournament.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the details for hosting costs shall be contained in a separate annexure to the agreement whose contents were mutually agreed by the two parties. TSM will not bear any other cost not mentioned in the agreement.
“TSM shall annually dispatch sponsorship funds in the amount of $500 000 to Zifa for the sole purpose of establishing and operating a youth football academy which will be jointly managed by the two parties through a trust.”
The first year’s contribution will be made available after the completion of the 2016 tournament and the funds will be dispatched in six equal installments to Zifa over a period of 12 months. This payment schedule will