Vodacom Tanzania gives premier league a $3.91 million boost


Vodacom Tanzania, in a bid to increase its visibility has boosted its support for the premier league.

The sponsorship that $3.91 million over the period of 3 years has seen an agreement signed on August 23, before all premier league’s parties; Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Premier League Committee and Vodacom-Tanzania, witnessed by Minister of Information, Sports and Culture, Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe.

“Vodacom Premier League” (VPL), is an ebullient league widely known for attracting a diverse range of fans over the past 9 years.

According to Vodacom Tanzania Plc Managing Director, Hisham Hendi, noted the company’s efforts to be at the forefront of supporting development initiatives as well as sports activities in Tanzania.

“We have been sponsoring the premier league for 9 years and have seen the growth of upcoming talent as well as the league itself which commands a following of millions of fans both locally and in neighboring countries,” said Hendi.

In the last soccer traditional-rivalry match, involving two fierce football clubs competitors “Simba”  and “Yanga”, on September 30, 2018, revenue collectors saw $175,713 earnings from match ticket sales, throwing $26,835 as Value Added Tax (VAT)  to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

This is not the first time Vodacom Tanzania inks a handsome amount into the sports-sector. VPL has created a unique mark in the national league sphere, emerging as one of the primary stakeholders of sports in Tanzania.

Despite the entire arts, entertainment and recreation sector scoring 7.4 growth in the first quarter compared to 12.8 in a corresponding quarter 2018, revealed by Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) records, fresh prospects within soccer could be fetched from the new deal.

The latter could be possible in the following context: according to the network’s March preliminary financial results, Vodacom-Tanzania stands to be the top-telecom earner in Tanzania, with 5.4 percent service revenue increase equivalent to over $443.1 million, which is a significant achievement to the growth of the company, drawn primarily from strong mobile money services(M-Pesa), messaging and mobile data revenue.

Currently, VPL games are already taking place, since August 24th. A total of 380 matches involving more than 20 teams, are expected to go on. Hence, sports fans stand to experience jubilant games, which means extra revenues from Vodacom-Tanzania via tailored sports-communications services, as Hendi comments during the official handout.

“Once a customer subscribes to SOKA LETU, they get football news, updates and reviews on VPL. But that’s not all, our customers also stand a chance to win free minutes, VPL game tickets and other exciting rewards” Hendi expressed.

READ: Over 8 million Vodacom M-Pesa customers to share in $11.718 million profit

Vodacom Tanzania garners around 32.4 percent customer share in the competitive telecom industry, with 38.6 mobile money services share, top that up with 9.6 percent customer base growth to 14.1 million people, of which 7.0 use M-Pesa and 7.9 access data services.

Tanzania Football Federation records show, more than 50,000 people get seated in exciting premier league matches occurring in commercial-city Dar es Salaam, modern stadiums. Meaning; more revenue from VPL is expected to be accrued by Vodacom-Tanzania, via its seamless telecom services.

“As part of our vision to take Tanzania to a digital age and enable a cashless society, we target to enhance the experience of our customers and football fans in the purchase of the tickets through M-PESA, from all networks and banks. We are very excited about the future” Hendi adds

According to available from the respective ministry, there are around 165 registered football clubs in Tanzania.  Further, earlier this year, during a budgetary session in the parliament earlier this year, Minister Mwakyembe expressed the government interest in developing the sports-sector, particularly football.

The ministry’s budget is over the US $ 14.3 million, and yet, around US $ 329,680 is intended to assist the Sports Board of Tanzania, while US $ 434,935 is the designated fund on sports development.

In the context of telecom uptake in Tanzania, VPL could be another great revenue-making sphere for Vodacom-Tanzania. The network provider sees an average of US $ 1.7 billion a month via M-Pesa platform.

Without forgetting the merchant digital payment solution “Lipa-Kwa-M-Pesa” platform, a three-years-old platform with over 620000 new customers and 9.7 percent growth effecting over US $ 478 million over the year, report reveals.

VPL stands out in the sports sphere in Tanzania. Digital payments tendencies might influence the uptake of merchant solutions to offer by Vodacom-Tanzania. M-Pesa, Messaging, and Mobile data, also stand a chance in taking a decent revenue bite throughout the 3 year sponsorship period.

Also Read: Banning gambling in Africa: the consequences of sports betting on the continent

Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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