BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
The brand equity of the Nigeria Football Federation continues its rise as the federation on Friday signed what looks like the biggest sponsorship package ever in Nigerian sports.
Nigeria Breweries Plc through two of its brands – Star lager beer and Amstel Malta officially signed a partnership deal with the NFF. In a media event that was internationalized by the presence of officials of the AIPS and the local media, the deal makes Star the official beer sponsor of the Super Eagles. The deal was brokered by Mike Itemuagbor, a notable sports marketer in the continent.
According to details of the partnership, it is a five-year deal worth N2.2 billion which is about six million US dollars.
Also, Star Lager becomes the official beer sponsor of the Super Eagles to this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The partnership has the theme: “United for Nigeria; United by Nigeria”.
Present at the signing ceremony were NFF President Amaju Pinnick, NFF First Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF Second Vice President and League Management Company. Also in attendance were some members of the AIPS AFRICA Executive. The AIPS AFRICA team at the event includes First Vice President Mourad Moutawaquil of Morocco, Vice President Chris Mbaisi of Kenya, Vice President of Ugandan Sports Press Rita Aligumah and Fliss Mohammed of Tunisia.
The event had many members of the 1994 and 1998 class of the Super Eagles players in attendance. They included Peter Rufai, Daniel Amokachi, Mutiu Adepoju, Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen and Garba Lawal.
Also present was the iconic Segun Odegbami and his fellow Africa Cup of Nations 1980 hero, Henry Nwosu.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Breweries, Jordi Borrut Bel, recalled the pains Super Eagles inflicted on Spain, his home country at the France ’98 World Cup when Nigeria won 3-2 in the opening Group D match in Nantes.
He recalled that the Spanish side fielding globally acclaimed players like Adoni Zubizzareta, Raul, and Luis Henrique among others were really humbled.
Incidentally, two of Nigeria’s three goal-scorers of the day, Mutiu Adepoju and Garba Lawal whose flick was parried into the net by Zubizzareta, were in the attendance when the Nigeria Breweries MD was making his comment about the match which FIFA has rated among the classic matches of the World Cup.
Jordi Borrut Bel of Spain is now a converted supporter of the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup. Similarly, the Nigeria Breweries Marketing Director, Franco M. Maggi, an Italian has confirmed his commitment to Super Eagles at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Jocularly, he remarked that he adopted the Super Eagles as his native country, Italy will be a glaring absentee at Russia 2018. He put on a green tie to demonstrate his allegiance to the Super Eagles.
Signing of the historic partnership
Marketing Director of Nigeria Breweries Franco M. Maggi and Mike Itemuagbor, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Pamoddzi Sports Marketing tell the story behind the historic partnership.