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MBABANE – In an effort to find alternative ways to optimise sponsorships, MTN Eswatini is in the process of reviewing existing sponsorships and effecting reductions to the sponsorships budget for the year 2022.

This was confirmed by MTN’s Landokuhle Dlamini who is the Brand, Communication and Sponsorship Manager. Dlamini revealed this at a meeting which was held at MTN’s Headquarters at the Mahlalekhukhwini House in Ezulwini. In the past two years, it is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economic growth globally, including locally. This then necessitated a number of corporates to re-strategise and find alternative ways to leverage their revenue whilst maximising productivity across the board. These market and economic dynamics have also impacted sponsorships as well as corporate social responsibility, and MTN is no exception.

Dlamini said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the giant networking company to come up with ways on how to review its sponsorship budgets. “We are trying to find new ways on how we can optimise some of our sponsorships in order to leverage our products in an effective manner. We are also exploring innovative ways to excite our customers who are staunch fans of some of our sponsors’ properties in both entertainment and sports,” she said. When asked which sponsorships MTN would review, Dlamini said this information would be shared at a later stage upon the finalisation of the review process. It is worth noting though that MTN Eswatini has contributed immensely towards the local arts and entertainment sector. It is currently the title sponsor for the MTN Bushfire Festival which has in the past generated E500 million for the creative economy.

Additionally, MTN has been the title sponsor for the festival which is regarded as one of the biggest music festivals in the world for over 13 years now. Pre–COVID-19 era, the festival managed to attract over 30 000 people from over 50 countries. Having connected the nation for over 20 years now, MTN Eswatini has also injected close to E3 million in sponsorship towards hosting the Eswatini Arts and Music Association (SWAMA) Awards over the past five years, which according to the MTN website was the biggest sponsorship for any music award shows in the history of such awards the country has ever had.

In 2019, MTN Eswatini beat their own record by announcing E720 000 sponsorship for the third edition of the MTN SWAMA Awards, which became the biggest sponsorship ever in the history of art awards in the country. The gospel fraternity is also catered for under the MTN iPraise Festival which was launched in 2020 and went on to be held last year. However, due to COVID-19 regulations, the event was available digitally, whereby locals streamed the event at discounted prices. Furthermore, Dlamini also mentioned that a press conference would be held in due course to announce the latest developments once the optimisation process has been finalised.

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