While South African elite club bosses are struggling financially to run their teams, with sponsorships hard to come by, South African government, specifically SA Tourism, is considering a proposal to Sponsor Tottenham Hotspur FC with a staggering R910,997,814.75.
The £42.5-million deal would run from as soon as February 2023 to June 2026, with the option to extend for another year, reports The Daily Maverick.
One wonders, if SA Tourism has ever heard of the saying, “Charity begins at home.”
If a proposal of that magnitude can be considered to sponsor a flourishing, big English Premier League club like Spurs, surely there is enough on the government coffers to do the same for South African football.
As the number one sport in the country, investing in football is a no brainer, especially for the tourism industry.
On its own, football has immense potential to contribute positively in helping the tourism industry thrive.
With proper planning, innovative thinking and investments in the right areas of the sport, R910,997,814.75 both South African football and the tourism industry can benefit from R910,997,814.75.
Splashing so much money on an English Premier League club, in the name of promoting tourism is absurd, especially with chances of a positive return on investment next to zero.
The most absurd part is how SA Tourism tries to justify their madness.
“As entering into a sponsorship partnership with Tottenham Hotspur will likely result in a disproportional contribution (of more than 36%) towards the achievement of primary objective (21 million tourist arrivals), it would therefore be completely justifiable for SA Tourism spending [sic] a disproportional percentage of its annual marketing budget (36%) on the proposed Tottenham Hotspur partnership while having in place a risk management strategy to properly manage all risks associated with that.”
“This can in no way be construed to [sic] a scenario of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’,” The Daily Maverick quoted from the proposal.
A tourism expert consulted by Daily Maverick said that the claims made about the marketing value of the deal were “absolute, unmitigated bullshit”.
If SA Tourism has enough money to spend, let charity begin at home. Let them work with the marketing departments of football in this country and come up with innovative ideas to make better use of this fortune they are willing to spend on Tottenham Hotspur.
South African football clubs, The PSL, or football in general can use some cash injection.