NetOne, Zimbabwe`s State-owned mobile operator unveiled a $500 000.00 sponsorship tag over the local league dubbed the ‘One Wallet Cup’, which is set to bring the Top 8 teams from the previous soccer season to a horn-locking encounter starting on the 18th of July, that is, this coming Friday.
The Official Opening of the Cup was accorded to the ICT, Postal and Courier service minister, Hon Webster Shamu, buoyed by their One wallet mobile payment system, Netone has also found another way to gain traffic on the mobile payment platform, a service which we will NOT dig deeper into at this juncture.
By Phinias Shonayi
Quashing the speculation that there is a rift between Netone and BancABC creating an unsolvable situation, the two entities are actually closely working together, supporting and sponsoring, all for the love of the game.
Now that the World Cup season has eventually ended with Germany emerging on top and being crowned the World champions, the focus is again going to back to the various premiership competitions the world over. While many African soccer supporters have sworn allegiance to the European Premier League, LaLiga and so forth, the Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League has also held onto its chunk of fans.
Over the years, many leading companies have taken sponsorship of the various soccer competitions locally, with NetOne presently taking the mantle and further cementing their support for soccer by sponsoring the Soccer League.
At the official launch of the league yesterday, NetOne Head of Marketing Mrs. Memory Ndoro stated that the company, besides pushing other causes such as communal borehole drilling and partnering with the National Blood Services, has always been a supporter of soccer, both locally and internationally. Their first local interaction was in 2006 when they sponsored and supported both the Warriors and Mighty Warriors in their respective matches.
NetOne Managing Director, Mr. Reward Kangai also reiterated the notion highlighting that NetOne was a major player in the 2010 World Cup staging which took place in neighbouring South Africa. NetOne, the proud sponsors the One Wallet Cup for the next three years, has also partnered with Afrosoft in introducing a first in match entrances and payments through the One Wallet based payment platform. The service allows for supporters to pay for match entrance using the OneWallet service by simply dialing *120*8# and following the given instructions. This is similar to the bill payment facilities the company also hosts.
The pioneering service:
• Allows for supporters to purchase tickets at their own convenience
• Brings cashless travels to soccer matches
• Guarantees VIP treatment to all supporters who pay through the platform.
• Eases in the administration of payments and accountability
• Compliments the present system of cash payments at stadium gates for entrance
After the e-payment, supporters will have to present their confirmation text at the gate to facilitate ticket issue and data comprehension.
The winners of the tournament will receive the following prizes:
• Winners – $ 80 000
• 2nd Runner Up – $ 50 000
• 3rd Runner Up – $ 30 000
• 4th Runner Up – $ 20 000
The whole sponsorship deal totals a staggering half-million dollars ($500 000, 00), courtesy of NetOne Cellular.
In commending the tournament sponsors, event Guest of Honour and Minister of ICT, Information and Courier Services, Honourable Webster Shamu a long-known avid soccer fan, said that NetOne strengthens the spirit of what Zimbabweans are- resilient, tenacious and united.
He mentioned that his ministry holds on to the thought that, “You will only ignore modern technology at your own peril. We use these tools to enhance our freedom and control the means of production and economic management.”
Above that, he advised the Premier Soccer League leadership to consider standardizing the payment method initiated by NetOne and also taking it further by numbering stadium seats for improved administration purposes, even in lower divisions.
“I was glad to hear of NetOne partnering with the Meteorological Department in bringing weather data to the phone through One Wallet. This proves that ICT is a cross-cutting tool every industry must embrace readily”, Minister Shamu said.
Dynamos Football Club has already introduced e-club cards for all supporters/members. The e-card system enables for calculative supporter tracing, record keeping and planning.
Officially launching the One Wallet Cup and wishing the best matches to the participating clubs, the Honourable Minister encouraged the PSL Board to “continue moving forward in this regard as no one person has franchise ownership over innovation.”
In the tourney, BancABC Bank is the proud sponsor of Dynamos and Highlanders Football Clubs while How Mine and Triangle will be hosted by Metallon Gold and Huletts Sugar respectively.
The other sponsors NetOne is partnering with for the tournament is Delta Corporation, Mbada Diamonds and BancABC.
The seeded top four teams from last season’s league will not play each other this weekend. These include Dynamos, Highlanders, Harare City and FC Platinum. The other four participating Clubs are Caps United, How Mine, Triangle United and Chicken Inn.
Another draw will be held for the Semi-Final matches on a date to be announced.