Beach soccer is one of the fastest growing trends in the world, and Uganda by extension. With some of the best talents in Africa, beach soccer tournaments are now attracting a big fan base and a lot of attention in Uganda.
From 2nd to 3rd November the Pepsi University Beach Soccer Championship will take centre-stage at Lido Beach, Entebbe after soda giants Pepsi bankrolled the two-day tournament with sponsorship worth Shs75 million.
Mr Innocent Tibayeita, the head of sales and marketing at Crown Beverages Limited, announced the kitty today in Kampala, adding that the sponsorship will cover, among other things, refreshments, publicity, transport,feeding and accommodation for teams and prize money.
“Pepsi have decided to sponsor University Beach Soccer Championship as we strongly believe it is a great platform that will help us bring to life brand Pepsi and our new global thematic campaign called ‘Live For Now’,” Mr Tibayeita said.
“Pepsi Cola is about fun, entertainment, youthfulness and great refreshing taste. Youth desire to grab as much fun, activity, excitement and spontaneous opportunities. They live in the now. Our new thematic campaign seeks to capture the fun and entertainment that is now,” he said.
At least 20 universities drawn from across the country have confirmed participation.
In May, Pepsi bankrolled the national beach soccer league with Shs150 million and since the announcement, the game has grown in leaps and bounds.
The championship will kick off at 9:00 am on Saturday, November 2. Prizes will be awarded to the tournament’s winning team, top scorer and most valuable player at the tournament’s conclusion.
“We shall have lots of activities like free entrance for all university students, while the general public will pay Shs5,000 and get a free Pepsi Cola,” said Mr Deo Mutabazi, the president of the Uganda Beach Soccer Association.
Besides the action on the sand, fans will be able to enjoy jet skies, water sports, fans challenges where fans will win lots of prizes like video game consoles and sodas, in addition to entertainment from some of the finest musicians like Rema, Young Mulo and Vampino, among others.
The universities that will take part are Makerere University Business School (Mubs) – men’s league reigning champions, Nkumba University, Kampala International University, Makerere University, Ndejje University, Kampala University, Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Kyambogo University, Busitema, among others.
Uganda Beach Soccer Association is now part of the worldwide football/beach soccer family of associations recognised and supported by Fifa having gained admission into Fufa mid last year.
“We expect bigger crowds during the championship and they will provide good mileage for Pepsi. We are glad to have them on board,” Mr Mutabazi said.