Cash-strapped Zimbabwe giants Highlanders FC have introduced a club shoe in a bid to revive their revenue streams in the wake of the Covid-19 meltdown.
The launch of the branded canvas shoe has also ushered in a new fashion statement in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.
When the club popularly known as ‘Bosso’ introduced the shoe a fortnight ago, one of their ardent fans, Amanda Sidambe was gripped with so much excitement that she decided to buy both options on offer.
The shoe comes in black and white colours. Instead of just wearing a pair of a similar colour, Sidambe decided to start a new fashion statement that saw her wearing a black shoe on one foot and a white one on the other.
She was the first to buy the shoes immediately after the launch. Now her new craze has gone viral among the Bosso faithful and many seem to have followed the new ‘style’.
“I didn’t think it would be a trend. The good thing is now people are buying two pairs so they can mix it up which is great and l think it’s nicer that way,” Sidambe tells FARPost.
“Personally, l love black and white. So, l just thought instead of just wearing the black pair or white pair, let me just mix it up so that it becomes black and white.
“As a life member of the club, part of our responsibilities to the club is that every month, we put money into ‘our pride our heritage’ project. Besides supporting that, when any other initiative comes as life members, we have to take the lead so that we push the success of the club.”
Sidambe says although she is filled with the excitement of owning the Bosso branded shoes, she was hard-done by the absence of football action.
“I would have donned my mixed pair at Emagumeni. I am saddened,” she says.
“I am eagerly waiting for the return of football. I encourage fans to buy the shoes so that we show our love for the team. We all have to get vaccinated as this may be the only way we get to watch our team live again.”
The Bosso canvas shoes are on sale at the Highlanders clubhouse in Bulawayo as well as through the South Africa chapter in Johannesburg. Highlanders have said more selling outlets will be announced soon including online platforms.
The Bulawayo-based club partnered with a local company Anzisha Marketing in the project, a move that will see them get 20 percent from the sale of every pair retailing at US$25 [R355].
The club’s chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube says the shoe is synonymous with their players and fans alike as it represents the club’s culture.
“We have been working on this project for a while. Our focus has been to leverage our brand. The value of our brand is on the strength of its history. What we have done in the past two years is to aggressively promote alliances with business and corporates in commerce so we can supply products and equipment to our fans and followers,” Dube adds.
“This shoe is synonymous with our players and fans alike. The shoe has been in our culture. Bosso is a culture and we are looking forward to seeing it do well in the market. We cannot mourn over our past similar projects, but we will seek to create more.”
Dube says they will add more colours depending on market demand.
By Mthokozisi Dube