Sponsorship in sports is like icing on the cake, of which more often than not, its advantages outweigh, to a humongous extent, whatsoever seemingly modicum disadvantage anyone who completely is oblivious of the same, may draw up just to discredit this beneficial trend.
Recently, it has become inextricable, as the marriage of sporting activities and administration as well as sponsorship from private firms, cooperate bodies have come in leaps and bounds, with a super-mutual benefit always obtainable as long as appropriately all Ts are crossed, and Is dotted.
No wonder, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with a massive understanding of the ever-increasing positives of sponsorship has recently taken a bold step in enunciating MTN one of the Telecommunication heavyweights in Nigeria and some parts of Africa as their telecommunication partners going forward.
The telecommunication giants MTN took to their official Instagram handle to express their optimism over the deal and are looking forward to a successful partnership.
“We are incredibly excited to announce our partnership as the official communications partner of the Super Eagles and other National Teams. We look forward to a successful partnership with Nigeria’s Football Federation and other stakeholders as we continue to support and develop the growth of football in Nigeria. #MTNxNFFParternship @thenffofficial”
The deal which is said to be for 3 years involving the NFF and all the National teams, is valued at N500m yearly, which puts it at N1.5billion over 3 years, and is very much renewable. The said partnership with MTN comes days after the NFF also sealed a partnership with Air Peace as the official Nigeria National Teams sponsors, of which the President of NFF and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick described as “an ordained union of two super brands”
The foregoing strides of the NFF President, Mr Pinnick to secure a partnership with renowned brands and cooperate bodies rather than be complacent-comfortable with the limited funds the government makes available remains commendable and demonstrably the way to go at a moment like this. This in perspective would further thicken the overall development of the game under the statutory leadership of the NFF. Funds for capital projects involving the national teams would barely be issues and even proliferates the credibility of the Federation and its affiliates.
Since the authorities announced that Globacom would no longer be sponsoring the Nigeria Professional Football League in 2016, after doing the same for a little over a decade, with about an N8billion pumped into developing the league, the league sadly has been run without an official sponsor, and tellingly, the trajectory has been far slower than it could have been, had there been a major sponsor.
The English Premier League for example has BT Sports as one of its major sponsors after they ended their contract with Barclay’s a couple of years ago, not to talk of various clubs having plentiful sponsors, as evident as most of the club sponsors in England have their identifiers emblazoned on their kits, be it training kit or the one meant for prosecuting matches. Sadly, the jersey of clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League are completely gaping, which lays bare the fact that there are completely no sponsors, consequentially leaving the clubs at the mercy of the government to pay salaries, fund transfers and of course cater for infrastructures in and around the club, so when these funds are shy of coming, crises becomes the final resort, and relegation opens her arms in embrace.
Most recently, one of the Nigeria Professional Football League teams domiciled in Abia State, Abia Warriors took a bold step to break the deadlock by announcing they were entering into a partnership with Golden Guinea Brewery Ltd, Umuahia. This deal would see Golden Guinea as their official kit sponsors for the next three years and which is appreciably commendable by any stretch of your imagination.
Nigerian online gaming firm BetKing in July 2021, shunned the NPFL and took over as the title sponsor of the Kenyan football premier league in an $11 million (9.7 million euros) partnership that will last until 2025. “Under the partnership, each participating club will be entitled to at least eight million (Kenyan shillings) annually from the federation,” said FKF chief Nick Mwendwa, a figure amounting to $74,000. The FKF said the sponsorship is the biggest deal in the history of Kenyan football.
This move may not be unconnected with the bad playing turf, little or no broadcast of live games and poor officiating that has characterized the Nigerian football leagues.
It is on record, the tremendous revenue clubs around the world make from the advertisement on their jersey, popularly known as Shirt Sponsorship.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Club Owners Association during their quarterly meeting held on Monday 28 June 2021 had tasked the League Management Company to get sponsors for Nigeria professional football league, before the end of the previous season. That didn’t happen!
The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has just sealed a sponsorship deal with the country’s foremost sport betting and gaming company, Bet9ja, for the latter to become the official supporter of the former under the betting and gaming category.
The multi-year partnership which was firmed up by the League Management Company (LMC) earlier today will officially take effect from the 2021/2022 NPFL season.
The deal will give Bet9ja the right to associate with the NPFL while participating clubs will benefit from branding placements across all match venues, events, programs of the league, as well as media channels.
With the agreement, the betting company will be featured in content across match broadcasts of the NPFL and its TV channels.
What are the financial benefits that accrue to the clubs in the NPFL?
We will continue next week….