Private sector missed out – BSA President

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Lauds Bofinet as a true sports partner

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

The President of Botswana Softball Association (BSA) Tirelo Mukokomani says the country’s private sector missed out on a huge opportunity of selling their brands to the world through the World Baseball/Softball World Confederation (WBSC) congress which was held this past week.
In 2015, Botswana were awarded the rights to host the 2017 WBSC 2nd congress, following a bid which was approved by the softball/baseball governing body. Early last year, the WBSC executive board visited the country to inspect the preparations, and were more than pleased with the progress.
The congress finally got underway from 12-14 October in Gaborone, where more than 146 nations from around the globe were represented. As proven by the recent major competitions/sporting activities the country has recently hosted , this provided yet another chance for local companies to reach out to more international customers.
However, this was not to be for the case with the WSBC congress, this is after Mukokomani told this publication that only one local company in BOFINET who partnered with BSA for the hosting of the event showed up.
“There is a misconception, not only in our leadership, that sports sponsorship is a cost not an investment. I think we have the responsibility to make people understand that, even our leaders should also inform themselves that you invest in sports now, and you reap the benefits later,” said the BSA President.
He added that,” One of the things I hope we could be able to achieve after this congress is for the private sector to realize the potential of sports, if they could sit down and think across the board, to see how much it costs to sponsor sports and the investment gained, I think they will be able to realize that the returns gained are worth it. Companies should go out and make their own research, and see what they stand to gain from these sponsorships. Take BOFINET for example, they are as good as any sporting partner any sports association can get, they made their investment in softball, and they have gained tremendous growth and appreciation, they are now reaping the benefits,” added Mukokomani.
According to the local softball leader, they had received a few pledges from several companies, but failed to deliver to their promises. “Our main sponsor for this event was BOFINET, without them, this congress would not have gone through in the quality that it was being held. We had received numerous pledges, but none of that ever came through. I think a lot of companies missed out in the mileage here,” he ended.
Meanwhile, WBSC executive board member Mike Smitt praised the country for hosting the world class event. “It took a little time to settle here, but in the end we settled in well. We had a good working relationship with the sports commission and government officials, and I must say they have really been supportive,” said the executive committee member. He also thanked the government for immensely helping out delegates to attain VISAs to fly into Botswana.
“We would really love to thank the government of Botswana, who besides being supportive also helped with the issues of VISA for delegates, which is never an easy task. This congress was a big challenge, it was for the first time we had these number of meetings especially in one venue and one country, so I must I was impressed with how Botswana fared, I think this is one of the best congresses we have held as WBSC,” he closed.

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