Zimbabwe Premier Soccer league in Bulawayo, Chiefs, becomes the first local team to set up an online shop which was launched on the night of Tuesday 23 June 2020, to sell its merchandisers in fulfilling the desire to grow their brand beyond the country’s borders.
In the first quarter of 2020, the Sports Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe (SLIZ) challenged sporting organisations, particularly football clubs to use the COVID -19 break to find other ways of generating revenue away from the field of play. They urged local clubs to embrace new technologies and leave a footprint on the digital platforms. Chiefs seem determined to grow their membership and their social media timelines are among the most active on the domestic front.
Chiefs were the first club to have its Twitter handle verified two years ago and was referred to as local football’s Twitter Kings due to their massive following on social media and catchy tweets thereby outpaced the league’s old guards in using digital media platforms for effective communication and outreach.
Club spokesperson Thulani “Javas,” Sibanda said the clubs’ merchandise on offer includes tracksuits, sweaters, hats, masks, socks, shorts, T-shirts and official replicas. The shop will service Chiefs’ followers around the world. For the overseas market, the online store website directs buyers to the Chiefs’ kit sponsor Leyburn Sports’ website.
Sibanda added that they have the items in our shop in Bulawayo and they can courier to their buyers around the country. Their target market is anyone in the country who associates with football or sport in general and anyone who looks beyond a badge and support football.
Chiefs have always endeavoured to excel in their quest to grow their brand as a professional team hence they move to avail merchandise to all their fans, followers, sympathisers and sports lovers around the country and beyond. It is the right time for other football clubs to make use of this global pandemic break to outshine.