A decade or two ago, when a company sponsored a sporting event you could predict the reaction to such a gesture. Statements like “PR stunt” and “they can afford it anyway” would be floated around at bars and during dinner conversations.
Nowadays, however, experience has shown that corporate social responsibility can truly benefit the community in which any company operates.
Vodacom’s sponsorship of the 2009 Vodacom Soccer Spectacular came as good news and is a good example of a practical corporate social responsibility programme.
It goes without saying that football in this country is in dire need of funding, if the standard of the game is to be raised.
Sponsorship from companies such as Vodacom will go a long way in helping achieve this end. With sufficient funding, Lesotho’s young and promising footballers can concentrate on perfecting their game without financial worries.
Moreover, if football standards are raised, chances are the sport will attract more talented youngsters.
We have excellent footballers in this country, some who are sitting in offices and working in the mines because they did not find football lucrative or good enough to provide them a decent living.
Such disillusioned youngsters would choose football if conditions were better.
While still on the subject of football, we at Newsmakers and Noisemakers remain concerned by the lackadaisical manner with which football clubs are approaching the Premier League.
It is disappointing, to say the least, to learn that the league has not started because some clubs have not registered with the authorities.
If the clubs want the private sector and other stakeholders to take football seriously, then the clubs have to show that they mean business. Clubs need to start by getting their documentation and record-keeping straight.
In our humble opinion, companies would be justified if they hesitated to support clubs without proper systems in place because this would be tantamount to throwing money down the drain.