By Osasu Obayiuwana
December 20 – In what is a unique drive, in African football, to increase revenue, leading Tanzanian club Simba has launched its own bank payment card. They hope to raise a minimum of $10 million through the deal.
“The partnership is with Equity Bank for five years,” says Senzo Mazingiza Mbatha (pictured), the South African CEO of Simba, who took charge of the club on September 1.
“There have been prior discussions between Simba and Equity before my arrival. After coming in, I took over the project, finalised the details and the contract was signed on the October 23rd,” Mbatha told Insideworldfootball.
“We estimate that Simba has about 15 million fans in Tanzania and hope that we can grow cardholders from a base of 1 million to 5 million over the next five years.”
“It is my hope that Simba generates its revenues through fans and members engagement. With proper reforms and a little bit of organisation, this is possible.”
“On the field of play, we need to win things, we need to change the approach of short-term gains and prepare for sustainable success, like signing young, talented players on long-term contracts. We must also build strong technical teams on long-term contracts. Simba deserves to be in the CAF Champions League group stages every season,” Mbatha believes.
“If you consider the dynamics in the country, around access to banking, there are some barriers that we are facing, which we have to continue to work on. Fans will pay an initial fee of 22,000 Tanzanian Shillings (TZS) ($9.50) which is an annual subscription fee. From this subscription fee, Simba will immediately get 12,000 TZS ($5.20).”
“On top of this, when a fan uses this card for any transaction, Simba gets 50% of those transactional costs. The subscription fee is charged annually,” Mbatha says.
“We plan to have additional discount partners, as we go along, which our cardholders will benefit from.”
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