Says contrary to “wild speculation” that the sponsorship is linked to Stanbic being “Popa’s” president business tycoon Jagdish Shah’s bank, the decision to go with Rollers was based on the team’s meritorious record as a winning side
Stanbic Bank Botswana’s decision to sponsor Township Rollers is based on merit and has nothing to do with the fact that the president of the team, tycoon Jagdish Shah, holds his business accounts with Stanbic, the CEO of the bank, Sam Minta, has told Gazette Sport. Talk is rife that Shah uses his businesses to leverage sponsorships from banks.
This is the man who owns many businesses, among them Jack’s Gym, Zebra Net and H & G Advertising. He is also a shareholder in one of Botswana’s biggest distribution companies, CA Sales.
Prior to Stanbic’s last P3.6 million deal that was spread over three seasons, Township Rollers were bankrolled by Capital Bank to the tune of P1.2 million for the 2014/15. It is rumoured that Shah moved his accounts from Capital Bank to Stanbic Bank in order to acquire the lucrative deal for Rollers. Not so, says Minta. “That is a wild speculation,” the Stanbic CEO asserts. “I have never thought about the fact that he has any business with us. The sponsorship is purely based on merit.” He was speaking to Gazette Sport on the sidelines of his bank’s media appreciation party that was held in Gaborone over the weekend. Stanbic Bank and “Popa,” as Rollers are also known, renewed their union last week when Stanbic injected P4.5 million into the team that is to be divided into P1.5 million per season over three seasons.
As a business entity, Stanbic makes money the hard way and it should therefore invest in wise business deals. “When we want to sponsor any organisation, we make sure that we will get good returns,” Minta said. “Definitely Rollers are doing that. It is one of the best-run teams in the country. It has a strong brand and a huge following. That is the whole point of us sponsoring them.”
He added that Rollers had shown a propensity to win the league ever since his bank started sponsoring the team. “That takes the respective Rollers and Stanbic brand to places, the team is basically making us more known and loved,” Minta noted. “It is such a pleasure and joy to be associated with a strong team that is professionally managed like them.” As a matter of fact, showing a “propensity to win the league” is an understatement because Township Rollers have always been Botswana’s premier league champions ever since Stanbic Bank Botswana began its sponsorship of “Popa-popa.”