BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Premier Soccer League side Bulawayo Chiefs made the most of the year 2020 which was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic after they successfully established a merchandise shop and an online store.
Despite fighting relegation in two of the seasons that they have competed in the topflight league, Bulawayo Chiefs appear to have come with a plan to transform how football is run in the country.
When the league resumption was disrupted by coronavirus outbreak the club had a plan.
“We remained focused on our goals and objectives, fought all challenges to make sure that we achieved what we drew down in our plans. We still push to reach greater heights,” Chiefs media officer Thulani Sibanda told NewsDay Sport.
“It (the success of the merchandise store) went way beyond our expectations as this setup was not only a financial venture, but also as a vehicle to drive the publicity and growth of the team. We continue to hit the headlines as a club,” Sibanda said.
The shop known as the Chiefs’ Kraal is situated at Tshaka Centre in Bulawayo.
A host of the club’s products including replica shirts, branded golf T-shirts, sports bags, caps, mugs, umbrellas, water bottles and wallets, among other stuff.
A trendsetter in local football, Bulawayo Chiefs came on to the scene and managed to harness the power of social media to further their brand.
And other local clubs seem to now understand the importance of social media presence in their operations.
However, the club is disappointed that the league season eventually failed to take off this season as they had set targets in the field of play.
“Well as a club that was established to play football, it was obviously disappointing to go a full year without playing the game. But we took refuge in knowing that it was all for the safety of lives, so we grew to accept it.
“(But) we lost out on an opportunity to assert ourselves as a growing and competitive team, we got robbed of a chance to slay the so-called giants in the game.
“Ultimately, we dream of achieving the highest level of professionalism possible, but above all we dream of being a darling of the nation and the world,” Sibanda said.
Interestingly, Chiefs have two players who are part of the final Warriors squad to represent the country at the Chan finals in Cameroon in three weeks’ time. The two are midfielder Gabriel Nyahwa and striker Farawo Matare.
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