Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
NETONE continue to make inroads in domestic football and yesterday added Black Rhinos to the group of Premiership clubs they are bankrolling.
A week after adding Chapungu to the group, NetOne yesterday rolled out an $80 000 sponsorship package for the two-time Zimbabwe champions.
The package was unveiled at a function at NetOne Headquarters in Harare which was attended by the company’s chief executive Lazarus Muchenje and the army side’s executive committee headed by Zimbabwe National Army Chief of Staff Quartermaster Staff, Hlanganani Dube and chairman Terrence Chizengwe.
NetOne are already paying salaries for players in the country’s three biggest clubs —Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United.
Bosso welcomed Rhinos to the NetOne family.
“We welcome Black Rhinos to the NetOne gang, @Highlanders we are proudly @OneFusion,” tweeted club chief executive Nhlanhla Dube.
The NetOne package for Rhinos comes at a time when the soldiers are enjoying a purple patch in the Premiership after having gone on a 10-match unbeaten run, winning five and drawing as many games.
Muchenje said by sponsoring sport, his organisation wishes to see athletes develop and take the country to the sporting world map.
“The sustainable development of club sport and individual talent is the bedrock that breeds success at national level,” said Muchenje.
“As NetOne, we are playing our part in trying to ensure that football develops to competitive levels.
“This (Black Rhinos) is the fifth team that we are sponsoring this season alone and we have a strong conviction that we shall see the expected results in future.
“NetOne has poured in $1 210 000 into football through the various partnerships that we have entered into.
“Today, we are unveiling a sponsorship package of $80 000 to Black Rhinos for the remainder of this season.
“It is our hope the funds will boost the morale of the team to enable them to pick themselves up and fervently push for a top-four finish.”
Dube said the sponsorship package has boosted the army team’s coffers and will go a long way in lifting the spirits of the Rhinos players.
“Let me hasten to say that this particular sponsorship comes at an opportune moment as the organisation’s flagship team, just like any other Premiership outfit, has not been spared from the negative effects of the under-performing economy,” said Dube.
“It is pleasing to note that big corporate entities like NetOne continue to partner and support the Zimbabwe National Army in general and Black Rhinos in particular despite the fiscal and economic challenges currently bedevilling our nation.
“The army will always cherish such positive interaction as that helps in the creation of synergies necessary for socio-economic development.
“In that same vein, the army views the gesture by NetOne, one of the country’s leading telecommunications companies, as a vote of confidence in the sporting talent abundant in the organisation.”