* We want to associate with the brand in order to also help the team to be more stronger
* And do wonders in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League
By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent
One of the leading banks in the country, First Capital Bank (FCB) on Wednesday unveiled a 3-year K525 million lucrative sponsorship deal for the Malawi’s football powerhouse, Nyasa Big Bullets — which has since made the club to change its name to FCB Nyasa Big Bullets FC.
The unveiling of the deal was done at a glamorous event at Amaryllis Hotel where FCB and Nyasa Big Bullets announced the new home, away and neutral kit which the team will be using in 2023 football season.
FCB Head of Marketing, Twikale Chirwa said they decided to partner Bullets in the deal following the team’s consistent performance in all the local competitions and that they want to associate with the brand in order to also help the team to be more stronger and do wonders in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
“Our FCB brand is always associated to sports as you know that we also sponsor Under-19 League in all the three regions of the country as well as hockey competition — because we believe that sports is another big tool that plays part in contributing to economy of the country.
“We believe that this sponsorship will make the team can go to greater heights, not only in Malawi but also in the African continent,” Chirwa said.
Nyasa Big Bullets president, Konrad Burkle described the landmark sponsorship deal as evolution of the Bullets family, which is about the good behaviour of the fans, and how evidence changed at the club.
He said the coming in of FCB is great sign that Bullets has really proved to be a top club on the land and people should expect a lot as this is just a start of good things to come.
“We are very proud of this sponsorship because it will make the team to be on a top level as you know that we are in commercialisation drive — which has also helped our administration to be one of the top-notch going forward.
“It wasn’t easy to reach this far but now we are happy because we’ve started to see some the fruits and let me disclose that we’ll more partners because the club is model now,” Burkle said.
Present as guest of honour was Minister of Youth & Sports, Uchizi Mkandawire, who thanked FCB for the sponsorship, saying the bank has taken a good direction as it has shown commitment in as far as sports development is concerned.
Mkandawire said for every sporting discipline to perform well, corporate companies and individuals should start supporting them in various ways and that other companies should emulate the good gesture shown by FCB.
Nyasa Big Bullets continue to dominate local football as they were crowned 2022 TNM Super League champions at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on November 19 — its four consecutive titles of the total of 16 since the inception of the top flight league.
They finished finished with 73 points. In the 2021 season, they won the league with 62 points; in 2019 with 70 and in 2018 with 71 points.
They amassed 69 goals, with Babatude Adepoju claiming 18 of them while the previous season they hauled 62 goals — with Hassan Kajoke claiming 21 of them.
Their 2022 runners-up are Blue Eagles having finished with 59 points; 2016 champions Kamuzu Barracks were third place with 57 points; Mighty Wanderers finished fourth position with 56 points and Silver Strikers fifth with 51 points.
The Super League was created in 1986 and was first sponsored by Gillet Nacet. It was composed of eight teams — five from Blantyre & Districts Football League (BDFL) and three from Lilongwe & Districts Football League (LDFL).
Nyasa Big Bullets — formerly named Bata Bullets, Total Bullets and Bakili Bullets have won most of the titles (16) as inaugural champions in 1986, followed by 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020-21, 2022.
Silver Strikers follow at 8 (1993, 1994, 1996, 2008, 2010, 2011–12, 2012-13 and 2013.
Mighty Wanderers won it six times (1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2006 and 2017); ESCOM United twice (2007, 2010–11); and once by Admarc Tigers (1989); Civo United (1987); MDC United (1988); Kamuzu Barracks (2016).
Interestingly, none has beaten the record as top goalscorer since Big Bullets former striker, Ganizani Malunga who 28 in 2002/03 season while Mighty Wanderers’s former players Aggrey Kanyenda came close with 26 in 2005-06 as well as Heston Munthali then for MDC United with 24 in 2001/02.
The Buklets’ Hassan Kajoke and Silver’s Khuda Muyaba hit the net 21 times (2020-21) for Kajoke and 2019 for Muyaba while the current top sniper Babatunde ties with seven previous top scorers of the season.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express