MTN Uganda have for the past years associated themselves with the country’s football brand, this manifesting itself in their consistent sponsorship of various topflight league clubs and their undeviated involvement in the federation activities.
The 2016 memory of promotion to the then Azam Uganda Premier League is still fresh in the minds of West Nile side Onduparaka FC fans, one that was headlined by joy and rupture and thereby provoking a feeling of admiration from the multinational corporation who needed no invitation to jump on that bandwagon.
Their longevity with Lugogo side KCCA FC over the years is something one can’t miss when exploring the love affair between the company and Ugandan football. This romance has since seen them monopolize the naming rights of the club facility to the ‘MTN Omondi Stadium’.
It is this kind of involvement in the game that has won them public popularity and empathy when attacked by any prevailing lawsuits or those that intend to come along the way.
Meanwhile, these threats for court sanctions have indeed come but this time from the federation and the UPL administration through their lawyers, Newmark Advocates, with the subject of contention being the recently concluded MTN StarTimes Uganda Premier League Fans Awards.
In a letter addressed to the company CEO, dated September 1st 2021, the highlighted concerns regarding the matter seem were the holding out as official SUPL Broadcast partners in a number of their media broadcasts and various print and virtual platforms, the use of logos and signage of the major stakeholders without consent or even approval from them.
According to the letter, only the UPL and FUFA (who are joint product owners) reserve the right to grant permission over their products to third parties or partners on terms of respective contractual agreements entered.
UPL maintains that while they appreciate MTN’s gesture and intentions in recognizing these excelling and outstanding stakeholders, they do not condone this use of exploitation of league products since it should only be in accordance with well established procedures and mandate.
The purpose of the letter was to therefore raise a notice to the gigantic company and advise them to cease the activity of using SUPL logos and insignia on their communication and desist from holding out as the official broadcast partners since the owners have never authorized it.
Failure to abide by the above and in the event that MTN continues with the unlawful exploitation of league products, the lawyers will have no choice but work under the instructions of dragging the telecommunication giants into legal action, something which will be to the company’s own peril and embarrassment.