The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) alongside the Uganda Premier League (UPL) has today formally endorsed MTN Uganda, as the Official Broadcast Sponsor of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League on Next Media’s Sanyuka TV. This development promises to complement the great strides the governing bodies of FUFA and UPL have made in promoting and growing Ugandan football over the years.
Under this two-year partnership, MTN Uganda has committed to contribute some UGX 600 million as support to clubs in the league through the MTN Fans Awards that will reward performing players, coaches, and clubs throughout the league season. Depending on table rankings, all clubs will also receive a token financial reward at the end of the season.
Under the MTN Fans Awards, fans will choose players and coaches of the month and season. There will also be cash prizes for outstanding players in every match.
The two-year commitment will see MTN Uganda spend UGX300 million per year, with part of the money shared by clubs as prize money at the end of the StarTimes UPL season, increasing the prize money offered by FUFA.
The partnership was announced today in a joint press conference hosted by FUFA, UPL, and MTN at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala today.
FUFA has welcomed the move, pointing out the need for harmony between all stakeholders to grow the much-loved sport. Directly speaking about this development, FUFA’s 3rd Vice President Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi applauded MTN Uganda for partnering with FUFA. “Football is an indirect means of communication. It’s a vehicle for economic development and unity. I would be right to say that this partnership is long overdue,” said Nakiwala.
Echoing Nakiwala’s comment, the Vice Chairman for the UPL board Mr. David Sserebe welcomed Vice-Chairman UPL David Sserebe, welcomed MTN back home to Ugandan football, and pondered that the memories are great; the future is going to be far, far greater.
On his part, Mr. Bernard Bainamani, the UPL CEO, endorsed the brand when he said, “MTN is a big brand. The coming on board of MTN is a vote of confidence for other big brands to follow suit.”
The Ugandan soccer administration units’ recognition of MTN’s contribution in promoting Ugandan football through broadcasting the SUPL on TV is a milestone that will see the game reach wider audiences across the country. To complement the TV live broadcasts, MTN together with Sanyuka TV will activate live viewer parks in different locations especially in Kampala for the public to watch the games and in the process win various prizes through on-ground activations. The live match broadcasts and activations will also be extended onto partner radio stations including Radio 4, Akaboozi, Buddu FM, and Star FM, plus on MTN social media pages.
All information about the league as well as activation updates will be hosted on the MTN sports microsite at www.sports.mtn.co.ug which was launched in July last year and is dedicated to giving sports enthusiasts a one-stop point for all sports-related news, analysis, and updates. This innovation is hinged on MTN’s vision of delivering the benefits of a digital world to its customers.
The partnership will also see a bigger MTN brand presence on match days through activations such as “Ekituuti”, where fans will share their opinions of games live on TV, and the “MTN Fans’ Corner” where fans interact with players and coaches.
On his part, Next Media Services Group CEO, Mr. Kin Kariisa, said, “We are delighted for this partnership – MTN Uganda have been great facilitators of our broadcast of the league to date, and to see them extend this impact to the players, clubs, and secretariat only further strengthens our product.”
Speaking at the press conference, Somdev Sen, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer said that: “With the reopening of the economy and permitting of social activities, the timing to energize local football is perfect. This move to recognize the people and institutions that promote local football is a sure way of growing this much-loved sport in our country.”
The StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) is the biggest local football league in Uganda with 320 scheduled matches in the 2020/21 season, 100 of these matches will be broadcast live as a function of MTN’s broadcast sponsorship package. The league now enters the 2nd half with a game on February 9th, 2022 between MTN-sponsored KCCA FC and URA at the MTN Phillip Omondi Stadium.
The tournament features 15 clubs with over 400 players and each club will have an appearance on TV during the season. The tournament has an estimated viewership of over 10 – 15 million Ugandans with 3- 5 matches shall be broadcast live weekly.
The cash prizes for the MTN Fans player of the match, player and coach of the month, as well as the Fans Player, Coach, and Club of the season, plus the cash contributions to all the SUPL clubs at the end of the season will be announced in due course on the MTN sports microsite.
MTN has over the years been involved and has supported Uganda football at national, club, and community levels. The company is passionate about soccer as evidenced by its sponsorship of the Onduparaka FC and KCCA FC. MTN recently entered a partnership with KCCA FC to support the refurbishment of their Lugogo based home, now called the MTN Omondi Stadium.
Since it opened shop in Uganda over 20 years ago, MTN’s proactive role in sports has positioned the brand as the biggest supporter of local sports through its sponsorships, partnerships, and active engagements with the various sports disciplines including football and athletics among others.