E200k early Xmas gift for Premier League

The Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) has benefited handsomely two months after Eswatini hosted the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships

The pitch-side advertising hoardings behind the goalkeeper during the COSAFA Under-20 Championships held in the country in October.

By Ntokozo Magongo

The PLE is set to benefit handsomely after the country hosted the COSAFA Under-20 Championships two months ago by receiving pitch-side advertising hoardings valued at E200 000.

The hoardings were used during the Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Under-20 Championships held in the country from 7 to 16 October. They were stationed at Mavuso Sports Centre and Somhlolo National Stadium where the games were played by 12 countries who honoured the games.

The pitch-side advertising hoardings are a great way for sports clubs to generate some additional income from their sponsors who usually pay a premium for pitch-side advertising space. This is the area which receives the most attention and reach, especially if the match is being televised. The hoardings also give good images as they are placed right around the pitch.

The championships were sponsored by Inyatsi Construction to the value of E2 million and the hoardings were part of that sponsorship. COSAFA left the hoardings in the possession of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) who are due to hand them over to PLE. The COSAFA Under-20 tournament is an international youth football tournament open to national associations of the COSAFA region.

A source close to the matter confirmed that the PLE were now custodians of the billboards as per the agreement with COSAFA after the tournament that was won by Zambia after beating Mozambique 1-0 at Somhlolo National Stadium. The kind gesture comes at the right time for the PLE as they are on a mission of promoting local football internationally through the Eswatini Football Show which is broadcast by SuperSport and is viewed all over Africa and this is set to attract some sponsorships for them.

“The PLE is now working around the clock to start utilizing the hoardings, especially in the two venues, Mavuso Sports Centre and Somhlolo National Stadium. They hope to secure more sponsors that will in turn also benefit in terms of advertising,” the source told the Eswatini Financial Times Sports Desk.

PLE once tried to secure the hoardings in 2017 but it was costly, and they ditched the plan. EFA Communications and Marketing Officer Muzi Radebe said it’s COSAFA who can comment on the matter as they were the hosts of the tournament. PLE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Makhanya did not respond to questions asked concerning the hoardings when compiling this report.

PLE is set to use the hoardings not only during the MTN Premier League game but even during knockouts tournament where the sponsors’ advertising images will be used interchangeably on the boards. This will turn to give the sponsors more mileage.

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