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Uganda Cranes

1. Airtel signed on as official sponsor of the Uganda Cranes in October 2013. What has the journey been like so far?

The partnership with Uganda Cranes since we signed on as official sponsor of not just the Uganda Cranes, but also the big league and Uganda Cup has been nothing short of an exciting journey. The thing about football is that it’s such a widely loved sport and you will have a lot of support and eyes on you from every angle ranging from fans, media, the international community, the players and federation themselves. It therefore become imperative that you put your best foot forward and take all the lessons learnt along the way to make the sport better with each engagement.

As a brand therefore, the past 2 years have been a journey full of lessons, exciting engagement with fans from across the country, development aspects to the game like the ongoing facelift at Namboole Stadium, but more than anything it has been a great chance for us to contribute to the development of the passion point that is the single biggest unifier of the people of Uganda.

2. What challenges have you faced as a brand and how have you overcome them?

For any brand starting out on a journey this big, there are bound to be a couple of bumps along the road. For Airtel, we have looked at these as lessons along the way to make us better partners in the development of the sport. The single biggest challenge really has been to continually keep Uganda cranes relevant to Ugandans despite past challenges of not qualifying for the African championships. Continually supporting the Cranes players and the federation as well as our recent partnership with Nile Breweries in the Cranes regional tours have done a lot to create confidence and positivity for the players and the fans at large. We remain committed to doing whatever we can in our power to ensure that the team has all the support it requires to play and excel at an international level.

3. What are your thoughts on the team’s attempt to qualify this year for AFCON 2017 in Gabon after so many failed attempts?

The Uganda Cranes have so far played two games against Botswana (home) and Comoros (Away) for the AFCON 2017 qualifiers and have won both matches. We are currently top of the group B table with 6 clear points ahead of Burkina Faso, Comoros and Botswana.

I would say the team is in very good shape and have taken off to a very good start.

With the support of not just the brands supporting the sport but the never ending support of the fans, I am sure this is our year to go for the AFCON championship come 2017.

4. The team is in the qualification stages for the World Cup qualifiers. What are your thoughts on Uganda’s chance

I believe it really is our time to make history both on a continent level and on the world stage as well. The Togo away game is very crucial for us to win as is the home game. Judging by the chemistry of the players so far that has seen them win all the AFCON qualifier games so far, I would say we are in a very good place to make history.

5. What should Uganda expect at the home game with Togo for the WC qualifiers

Ugandans should expect a show of none relentless spirit from the Uganda Cranes players till the very end of the game. As a brand, we commit to supporting them all the way as we have done before. There will be a lot of excitement and engagement activities for the fans.

I therefore encourage us all to come out in large numbers and show full support and solidarity for the team.

6. Any last comments?

We would like to thank Ugandans and football fans, media fraternity at large for the continuous support and solidarity they have shown the team that has brought them this far.

At Airtel we say #CranesTufiirwawo, we will stand with Ugandans as we cheer the national team to the finish line.