After a number of years without a sponsor, the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) has resolved to aggressively court sponsors to bankroll its league. BBA secretary Secretary Peter Ubakar told Gazette Sport in an interview that the association will embark on an aggressive charm offensive in a bid to lure sponsors to finance its annual activities.
When he took over in October 2012, current BBA President Kabo Khama promised to identify sponsors for basketball, which has been struggling to attract sponsors since its inception as a formal code about 20 years ago.
However, in their third year in office, the BBA executive has not been able to attract any sponsor and they are in a race against time to deliver on their electoral promise before the BBA elections next year October.
“I believe we still have a bit of time to deliver on our promise. We are working very hard to attract sponsors and I am confident we will manage,” Khama said in an interview with Gazette Sport.
He also admitted that it is time for the BBA to review its approach to potential sponsors as there is evidence that the association has not been aggressive enough.
“Sometimes it’s all about who you know and the connections you have in the business world. Maybe that is where we are lacking. But I can promise you that we will be more aggressive in future.”
The BBA president also lamented the limited coverage that basketball enjoys from the media, saying it has added to their failure to attract sponsors.
“Media coverage is important to sponsors. Its unfortunate that basketball doesn’t get much coverage. Even the national broadcaster Btv has never covered our games. We only get interviews for news broadcasts, but no live coverage of our games,” he said.
Khama also promised that BBA will vigorously improve the local basketball product to make it more appealing to the public and sponsors. He however acknowledged that basketball has become very competitive over the years.
Reports indicate that BBA is in the middle of sponsorship negotiations with two local companies.
When Khama took over as President, he promised to rectify the problem of stalled construction of BBA courts, located near the national stadium. The P400,000 project started in 2008 but has never been completed because of shoddy work by the contractor. At a BBA annual general meeting last year November, local basketball club Drillers expressed interest in partnering with BBA to complete the project. About P250,000 is needed to complete the courts. In the meantime, BBA pays P500 per game to use the UB and BDF courts for its league games.