Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS need to develop their players’ image rights to gain full value out of them and in the process increase revenue inflows.
According to the newly appointed chief executive officer Nhlanhla Bahlangene Dube, there is also a need to understand how image rights are chargeable which will bring cash inflows to the club and individual player as well.
Once the club manages to develop its players’ image rights, it can then be able to attract the best possible talent around the country as well as across the borders, but to do that, Dube said there was a need to switch on the commercial value of the institution.
“You will understand that corporates use various images as bill boards. Highlanders in its entirety is a bill board looked at by potential markets, consumers and part of that bill board is individualised to the name of the club, which has a certain value that can be used by the corporate, and one of that is the image of the player. A player that excels in character, attitude and skill or exhibits a certain value proposition can be attractive for use in advertising whether voice or image by a particular marketing agency for a particular client,” said Dube.
“That is the image right that you must understand how it’s chargeable. If you look at football internationally, players are used by agencies to market their products, to market a particular brand, so as Highlanders we need to develop our players’ image rights to a point where we get value out of it so that the club gets value out of the players’ image rights and the players themselves get individual value, which means they will, outside their basic contract with the club, have extra income,” he said.
He said if Highlanders manages to stay ahead of the pack, it would give them a competitive advantage in that they can recruit players because they’ll be able to grow their image rights.
“If we are able to get the players to sell their image rights to corporates because of their association with Highlanders, it means we can attract the best players into the system, but we need to switch on the commercialisation project in earnest and we need to communicate that vision to our fans, members and sponsors in a language they understand so that we differentiate ourselves from the rest and become a football sporting partner of choice,” said Dube.
He said it was not a secret that Highlanders owed individuals and institutions and that it’s also no secret that they remain committed to extinguishing that debt.
“We need to bring it down and ultimately change the colour of our bottom line from red to black,” he said.