FRANKLYN MALAMBO writes @SunZambian

THE fat is in the fire, for thirteen time league Champions Nkana FC, following the recent withdrawal of Mopani Copper Mines in providing a grant to help them fulfil their league and CAF assignments for the forthcoming season.
In a letter dated 17 September 2020, the mining giant clearly states its position of only willing to provide US$15,000.00 per month (equivalent of close to K300, 000.00) until the end of this year. Whichever way it’s looked at, it’s a tricky situation to be found in, just a over a month after being confirmed league champions.
While there should be jubilation post coronation, grief looms.
Just about 35 days ago, I wrote that Nkana were in a quagmire mostly due to their inability to conduct business in the transfer market but having seen them sign two players from Congolese giants T.P Mazembe, they seem to have found a way around those particular waters but their situation in a way now can be likened to jumping off a frying pan into a fire.
Football is a costly business which calls for deep pockets and without money from a main sponsor like Mopani, the valley gets even deeper.
What’s next for the Wusakile based outfit?
The rub of green is they have secured a partnership with mega sports betting company betway which should soothe a bit of the pain. With the promise of 10,000 replicas, there is potential to raise quite a substantial amount of money with potential to raise over K5,000,000 (US$250,000) from sales pegging them at K500 per piece.
Without doubt, Nkana replicas are always on demand and there are no indications of such changing, an opportunity for much needed revenue at a time like this.
On the other hand, I have heard whispers of a possible deal being clinched with a huge national corporation. If clinched and the dotted line is signed, this would be a game changer. It would provide more income and more coverage to both entities, a mutually beneficial partnership.
I am not a marketing genius but I know for a fact that the 13 time league champions are a huge brand and this alone is something the club can use to navigate through the troubled waters.
It is common for big brands to marry fellow big brands and with the huge numbers of those associated with and follow Nkana, marriages must be sought and secured regardless of the times we live in. Advertising must go on and multimillion companies know this. Win-Win scenarios are and remain huge possibilities.
Sleeve sponsorship, back of shirts and shorts space are all possibilities in addition to branding around stadium and other avenues. No matter how small the space may look, the size of the club makes it big and visible enough.
One Copper mine may have pulled out but Kalampa are sitting on a potential gold mine especially with the negative violence tag having fallen off.
Additionally, on the football side, CAF competition presents a further opportunity to raise more money that would be needed going forward. Granted, there is no money in the preliminaries but the further they go in the competition, the more potential there is to fatten the coffers.
Finishing fourth in a group will guarantee around K11,000,000 (USD550,000) while winning would guarantee around K50,000,000 (US$2,500,000) an indication that the club must do all it can to fulfil their fixtures and not even flirt with the idea of selling off their continental football slot.
It looks tough at the moment for Kalampa yet there is still light at the end if at all they can maximise on the potential at their disposal. It’s times like these that shape iconic destinies and all the well-meaning will be hoping these hurdles be navigated successfully.
It’s a huge battle but so is the club, after all, Likulu!


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