VENTURES AFRICA – The Nigerian Professional Football League has announced a major sponsorship deal signed by five clubs and Guiness Nigeria Plc.
The clubs, Sunshine Stars of Akure, Dolphins of Port Harcourt, Lobi Stars of Markudi, Heartland of Owerri and Enugu Rangers, now have shirt branding contracts with one of Guinness Nigeria’s brand, Harp Premium Lager. However, financial details of the contract were not revealed.
Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, MD/CEO Guinness Nigeria, Seni Adetu said the criteria for choosing the five clubs was because they are among the best teams in the country.
Adetu said, “The financial terms remain exclusive and at the clubs disposition to disclose. We’ve chosen these clubs because they are among the best and are among the traditional clubs in the country.”
The General Manager of Dolphins FC, Dumbor Awanem, in a chat with Ventures Africa, said the clubs are grateful to be among the five clubs chosen.
“I want to thank Harp for finding it right to identify with the five clubs. We want to assure Harp that we will be a good brand and try to do our best to make sure Harp achieves what they intended to with the deal.”
Speaking specifically about Dolphins, Awanem says, “This is the beginning of a new beginning for Dolphins because most corporate organizations have been sitting on the fence and by Harp leading the way, we will try to get multi-national companies in Port Harcourt to come identify with the club and improve our clubs and local league.”
For Heartland’s GM, Fan Ndubuoke, identifying with the club even when it has not won any continental competition is a good development. According to him, “This is unique because most times corporate bodies only identify with successful teams at the end of international competitions. But Guinness Harp has proven to be different. We are hopeful that after this contract, we will renew it next year.”
For Lobi Stars vice Chairman Dominic Iorfa, attending the signing ceremony feels like being in Europe.
“I’m proud of what Guinness have done. I’m happy that they’ve partnered with us not by popularity. It’s like I’m in Europe with this kind of event,” Iorfa said. However, Enugu Rangers CEO Ozor Paul reckons that “This is the first of its kind since I came back from the USA. This is good for the clubs as the sport cannot be backed by government alone.”
Sunshine Stars coordinator, Mike Idoko used the opportunity to call on other corporate organizations to join hands and partner Nigeria football.
Idoko said: “We are calling on other corporate bodies to join this trend so that it will encourage the talents in the country and it will lead to having more than six players from the league in the national team.
This is the second major shirt sponsorship deal in the country in the space of one year after former African Champions, Enyimba of Aba as well as 3SC of Ibadan signed shirt branding deals with Dubic Lager.