Branded gear donated to sport teams represent free advertising for companies and should be avoided, says African Union Sports Council (AUSC) general manager (GM) Stanley Mutoya.
“Instead of paying large amounts of money for billboards in towns, they (companies) use cheap labour. Our people are not fully aware that they are being tricked,” said Mutoya at the presentation on marketing strategies in sport at the African Women in Sport Association (AWISA) Congress in Windhoek on Saturday.
Mutoya is AUSC general manager in Region Five, which includes Namibia, Angola, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana.
“Our African sport administrators must be careful about being used as free billboards through donated t-shirts,” he emphasised.
Asked by Nampa on the sidelines of the event what could be done instead, he said teams cannot always turn down such donations, but when possible they must ensure that the clothing or sport gear is not branded.
Mutoya advised that an agreement be reached to leave out the branding and instead, the company can receive public acknowledgement from the supported team. He acknowledged that African governments do not have enough finances to fully fund all sport codes, hence the need for donations from elsewhere.
He said if such branded gear is accepted, the team must also get extra benefits from the company for advertising. “First be convinced why you should wear such a t-shirt”.
Differentiating between a donation and sponsorship, he said a donation is for a good cause and does not require any payback, but a sponsorship is a business agreement, which requires some sort of payback.
The two-day congress commenced on Friday and deliberated on issues related to promoting gender equality in sport at all levels on the African continent.