Road to Russia 2018: Super Eagles Top Sponsors
The Nigerian national team is gradually become a commercial hot cake for big brands. As Russia 2018 approaches, they scramble in line, trying to court the attention of the now celebrated team. Few years back, this wasn’t so. The team grappled with a lot of interconnected technical and financial problems. Coaches were owed salaries and players played under very demolarising conditions. However, things began to change around April 2017, when an indigenous oil company called Aiteo, decided to take a chance and inject a whopping N2.5 billion into the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
This fund was instrumental to the Eagles sudden turnaround and clinching the World Cup ticket. Since their qualification, they’ve become more attractive to large corporates seeking brand exposure and hoping to reach Nigeria’s football loving audience. NFF president, Amaju Pinnick stated as at March 2018 that NFF has “entered into various partnership deals that are worth over fifty million US Dollars in the past one year.” Below is a list of their top spenders as they make their way to Russia for the most watched football tourney in the world:
- Aiteo: Official Optimum Partners
Top energy conglomerate, Aiteo has made the most significant investment in the Nigerian Football Federation in recent times. In April 2017, the indigenous oil giant signed a N2.5billion worth sponsorship agreement that resuscitated the national team and increased their chance of qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Unlike other brands hoping to gain marketing advantage, Aiteo’s investment has been described as a corporate social responsibility initiative targeted at enhancing the growth of Nigerian football, supporting its youth and fostering national unity. Pinnick described Aiteo’s contribution as “a heartwarming landmark in the history of football sponsorship in Nigeria.”
Aiteo Group organised the maiden edition of Aiteo-NFF Awards in celebration of Nigerian footballers, past and present in February 2018. At the award ceremony, it was revealed that Aiteo paid the sum of $600,000 and N320 million to cover its contractual obligation of providing support to the technical crew of the Super Eagles for the whole of 2018, well beyond the World Cup.
The company also signed a N2.5billion partnership to support the country’s longest running federation’s cup, now renamed Aiteo Cup in June 2017. In January 2018, Aiteo sponsored the Confederation of African Football Awards which held in Ghana.
- Coca Cola: Official Soft Drink Partners
Coca Cola threw its weight behind the Eagles in January as official soft drink partners for the World Cup, snatching the team from its arch-rival, Pepsi. The Coca‑Cola partnership with NFF and the sponsorship of all the Nigerian National Football teams will span for an uninterrupted period of 5 years after which there will be an opportunity for renewal.
Nigeria’s football federation signed the 1.4bn Naira five-year deal with the beverage company in January 2018. Coca-Cola (International) is also one of the official sponsors of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The company has consistently organised a World Cup trophy global tour since the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Although extremely supportive over the years, Coca Cola once abandoned the NFF just after signing a fresh new five-year contract in December 2010.
The rekindled relationship and interest has been linked to Amaju Pinnick’s great leadership skills and ability to get the buy-in of big brands.
- Nigerian Breweries: Official Beer Sponsor
Nigerian Breweries Plc is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria, serving both Nigerian and West African markets with product including Star Lager and Amstel Malta.
The company’s partnership with NFF is valid for five years and worth N2.2 billion. Also, Star Lager has become the official beer sponsor of the Super Eagles to this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
- Cadbury: Official Candy of the Super Eagles
Cadbury Nigeria Plc, manufacturers of TomTom, partnered with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as the ‘Official Candy of the Super Eagles’ in February 2018. The agreement will last for three years in the initial period with an option of renewal. Although the actual figure is not in public knowledge, this deal is said to be worth millions of naira.
The contract is said to be a demonstration of Tom Tom’s commitment to a long-term relationship with the Super Eagles.
- TGI: Official Food Partner
In October 2017, Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, an international investment and holding company with investments in Nigeria, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Morocco, UAE, South Africa, India and several other emerging markets, made public a landmark agreement with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to support Nigeria’s senior National Football teams, in their quest to make the nation proud at the forthcoming World Cup.
TGI Group is the parent company of WACOT Limited, Chi Limited and other companies, producers of household brands such as Big Bull Rice, CHIVITA, Hollandia Yoghurt and Renew Starch. The company has earned its place as the Official Food Partner of NFF.
- Payporte: Official Online Store
Payporte became the official Online Store Partner of the NFF late 2017, around the same time as TGI. Payporte’s contract with the NFF is also for three years and the NFF believes the company will also help them with youth football development in the country.
Payporte, one of the country’s largest e-commerce company is now the Official Online Store of the Super Eagles. The company is expected the be the official and exclusive outlet for the sale of authentic national team jerseys.
- Nike: Official Kit Sponsor
Nigeria Football Federation entered into an agreement with sportswear manufacturer, Nike, as the kit sponsor of the Nigerian national football teams in 2015. The three and half year contract is worth $750, 000 (148m Naira) in its first year and $1million (198m Naira) each year from 2016 till 2018. Nike also promised a $500,000 (99m Naira) bonus if the Super Eagles qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Nike is responsible for the design of performance and training apparel, and equipment, including team kits and footballs, for the Nigerian national football team players. It unveiled the 2018 World Cup Kit in London ahead of the Super Eagles’ World Cup participation in February.