“It’s not you. It’s the new business strategy,” seems to be the line Telkom is singing to its ladies hockey team after ending a 30 year sponsorship partnership with Kenya’s most succesful ladies hockey club side.
In a statement from the telco, the withdrawal of sponsorship has been explained as being a consequence of reviewing its future business endeavours.
“Telkom Kenya has been reviewing its brand assets strategy to align it with ongoing business developments,” the firm said. “This review has involved an open-minded consideration of all aspects of our existing partnerships and properties, in line with new business objectives and strategic priorities.”
As a result, Kenya’s most successful ladies hockey club will no longer be sponsored by Telkom. The withdrawal of the sponsorship came into effect on May 31 and it is still not yet clear what the future holds for the side.
“This withdrawal of Telkom’s sponsorship from the team opens up strategic and exciting opportunity for the team, as they will be looking forward to having conversations with potential new partners,” Telkom said.
Crowned champions of the the Kenya Hockey Union Women’s Premier League for 21 successive seasons, the side has also been successful on the continental stage, winning the Africa Cup for Club Championships on 10 occasions.
Ideally, this has led to the side, currently defending champions in both Kenya’s domestic league and on the continental stage, to regularly contribute a significant number of players to the country’s national ladies hockey team.
The side is also currently the Best Women’s team in Kenya as per the Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA).
Its sponsorship with Telkom had subsisted since before the split of Kenya Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) and the privatisation of Telkom Kenya.
Telkom, Kenya’s third largest telco by subscriber base, is also engaged in merger negotiations with Airtel Kenya in a move seen as a challenge to the dominance of Safaricom within the market.