New MTN Chief Taukobong Takes Charge Today, Ghana FA Must Convince To Sponsor Football

The Ghana FA must take full advantage of the arrival of football-mad new MTN Ghana CEO Serame Taukobong who will start work today (Monday) to push for the countryís key football products to be sponsored by the telecommunications giants. Taukobong takes over from Nigerian Michael Ikpoki as chief executive of MTN Ghana from today in a management shake-up. With Ghana football struggling to get its sponsorship money of the league and Black Stars from Nigerian mobile telecommunications Glo, it must court the new MTN chief to be able to attract sponsorship cash. Many have complained about the amount of money MTN Ghana is paying for the huge MTN FA Cup which is about $1m Ė competition that involves more than 200 clubs, offering a massive exposure to the continental communication giants. As compared to the South African MTN8 knockout that involves only eight clubs, MTN pays US$800,000 to the winner while more than 200 clubs in Ghana share $1m. With the arrival of Taukobong, the GFA must convince him to improve the company offering for the MTN FA Cup while other products like the local league, the Black Stars, the womenís league, the Black Satellites, the Black Meteors as well as all the national teams must be put before him. Taukobong, a soccer fan, has been responsible for the huge financial injection into the Premier Soccer League by the cellphone giant. He will take full charge of the telecoms giantís operation in Ghana today. MTN has had a massive shake-up of its executive positions, with a series of new senior appointments at group level and at its key operations in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. Ikpoki has been appointed chief executive of the groupís Nigerian operations. Taukobong has been responsible for the setting up of the MTN8 knockout soccer tournament, which carries R8-million in prize money for the winners. He came up with the idea of setting up an innovative competition for fans called Last Man Standing. Ikpoki returns to his home country to replace Brett Goschen, who took on the role of group chief financial officer and executive financial director, replacing Nazir Patel, who has resigned. Taukobong was appointed group marketing and sales executive for MTN International in 2002. He had been marketing director of M-Net. Two years after joining MTN, he became its chief operations officer in Uganda. In 2006, he assumed the role of sales and distribution executive at MTN Irancell. He returned to the group headquarters in Joburg as executive for global brand and sponsorships in 2007, and became the chief marketing officer in 2009.