NAIROBI, Kenya, April 13- A new age was ushered for Gor Mahia on Wednesday after the club sealed a record Sh38m sponsorship deal with Brookside Milk through their brand Tuzo.
The two-year agreement consummated at a Nairobi hotel will see Sh18m released to the club this year to cater for player salaries, allowances and other logistics in addition to full kitting for the team.
It is the largest sponsorship package for an individual domestic club, trumping the Sh15m deal archrivals AFC Leopards signed with Mumias Sugar at the end of last year in addition to the Sh12m Sofapaka received from East Africa Portland Cement Company at the beginning of 2010.
“What we are doing today is a milestone for soccer in Kenya. Football is most popular sports globally and the level of interest in the game continues to grow dramatically as evidenced by the number of Kenyans turning in sports stadia to watch KPL and Harambee Stars matches,” Brookside General Manager, Marketing, Elias Ochola who signed the deal on behalf of the firm remarked.
He added: “We will in the next few weeks unveil the team’s new uniform and fans will be directed where to get the replica kit.”
Gor chairman, Ambrose Rachier termed the landmark contract as the catalyst the club needs to return to their glory days of the 80s when K’Ogalo was at the apex of domestic and continental football.
“We have a trial period of two years which is going to work. Gor is a prominent community club that has remained without a sponsor and today our prayers have been answered.
“We have arguably the most fervent fans in this country and what we are going to do with an disciplined Gor family is to ensure Tuzo leap maximum benefits from this partnership,” he stated.
The partnership is a culmination of months of negotiations and entitles the firm to use the club as a promotional tool for their products as well as acquiring official title-sponsor status.
In turn, Gor will also receive a share of merchandise sales said to a ‘big percentage’ as it strives to register success on domestic and continental fronts.
Merchandise including the new kit is expected in the country in three weeks and will see Tuzo inscribed on the front of the revered Gor jersey with another caption at the base of the shorts.
The club has also acquired an office premise in Nairobi’s South C estate of Mugoya where their functions will be based in addition to the acquisition of a new team bus in two months.
More importantly, Gor is negotiating with two insurance firms to provide cover for the prayers with the deal set to begin in June.
“We have put measures in place by banning those fans that have been a problem to our club and this is the time for Gor supporters to show how such a partnership can work,” Rachier inferred in reference to stemming acts of hooliganism by the side’s supporters, the most recent being their protest on the opening match of this season’s Kenyan Premier League (KPL) where the team lost 3-0 to Rangers.
Despite the isolated incidents, Gor renaissance that saw them finish second in last season’s KPL continues and it remains to be seen whether the current outfit can match their trophy laden predecessors who stamped their supremacy by winning the 1987 CAF Mandela Cup (Cup winners Cup).
Brookside also title-sponsor another KPL side, Thika United.