Nike opted to pull out because of mismanagement…as Ponga sheds more light on KoPa brand
FAZ General Secretary Ponga Liwewe has revealed that the association decided to turn to KoPa brand after being snubbed by the major brands as they were reluctant to offer full sponsorship package.
And Ponga has pointed out that ‘Nike opted not to renew the contract because of the way it was managed’ as he blamed the previous FAZ regime.
Below is the full script from the official FAZ facebook page.
On Thursday FAZ announced that it had designed its own kit called KoPa which will be unveiled at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
Liwewe said that the kit would be of highest standard that will be produced by a Far East manufacturer.
“We looked at what was prevailing in th football market. Currently a lot of the big brands have shifted away from the smaller sponsorships, if you look at companies like Puma who a few years ago were quite dominant in the African market, they withdrew and put all their assets in the bigger teams like Arsenal if you look at Leicester City in the Premiership, Borussia Dortmund, all those are the new beneficiaries of the new strategy of Puma and other bigger companies to focus on where they have the numbers and where the money is,” he said.
“Nike for example only have two countries in Africa which is South Africa and Nigeria and remember the Nike contract was with Zambia and after Nike opted not to renew the contract because of the way it was managed, they then went to do a deal with the Nigerians and the South Africans.”
Liwewe said, “We looked at several options, we looked at MAFRO which did not live up to our expectations and limitations and did our research and thought that if we have our own brand we can own the value chain from top to bottom without having a third party to possibly pull out some of the revenues from the deal.”’
He said that deal would go beyond football and encompass other sports disciplines.
“This is a brand that will go beyond football, so it will look at catering for other sports in Zambia. It will look at all the Zambia national soccer teams,” he said.
The FAZ chief executive officer said that the kit would be manufactured in the Far East through an internationally recognized firm.
“We are working with an internationally recognisable manufacturer in the Far East, which is where all the big companies do their production. People will say Nike is an American brand, Adidas is a Germany brand, Apple is an American brand but all these companies do their production in the Far East because that is definitely where the low cost labour allows those companies to make profits,” he said.
“We have looked at the same sources of production and ensure that we meet the highest standards of production that is expected of the national team.”
He said that the association would work with law enforcement agencies to curb possible counterfeits.
“We will inform the public of where the official replica comes from because I am sure everybody wants to have a high standard replica. Nobody wants to wear an imitation or something which is of low quality. So we are taking several steps to ensure that the public get the best of the Zambian brand,” he said.
FAZ terminated its deal with Singaporean kit supplier Mafro in May citing several breaches by the sponsor.
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