NIGERIA: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has reached a N500 million sponsorship deal with the telecom giant MTN.
To this end, MTN will now be a supporter of the national teams’ media team.
It was learnt that the NFF leadership actively lobbied to ensure its financial independence, which led to the selling of some of its brands to the country’s elite.
This made the NFF brand to grow bigger and the support by MTN which will be for the next three years is another feather added to their cap.
The inauguration ceremony of the new relationship was held in Lagos on Thursday and had in attendance, prominent sport dignitaries including the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports, Obinna Ogba, NFF bigwigs and MTN top officials.
What Attendees Said
At the event, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare said, “this is what I will call the marriage of the king of telecommunications and the king of sports. MTN is the king of telecom and football is the king of sports.
“Today’s event is part of the reflection and desire of the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports that our sports Federation raises its funds. I thank MTN for taking this step, and I encourage other organizations to join our sports Federation. The government alone cannot do all this”, Dare added.
The President of NFF and member of the FIFA Council, Melvin Pinnick applauded the patience, perseverance and frankness shown by MTN as the partnership develops stating that he is happy as the long-awaited day has come for the partnership.
“MTN is a huge and suitable partner that can be by your side. As the process progresses and more curved sticks, I thank you for your patience. I am happy, our vision as the NFF Board of Directors is to obtain full funding from the alliance before resigning, and I believe that we have been increasingly successful in this regard. Your vision”, Pinnick added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said his company is also very happy to be working with Nigerian Football, which he described as “a platform that supports the unity of many Nigerians.”
“Since I came to the company 20 years ago, this has always been our dream, I find and used a platform that could unite and influence the lives of Nigerians”, Toriola said.
He further added that, “It will be recalled that MTN sponsored the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which is the only event held on African soil so far.
“We have also sponsored multiple versions of the African Cup of Nations, (AFCON). Although this is the first interaction with the Nigerian senior team, we have sponsored several grassroots football projects and have had an impact on national football. It’s great to be a part of the truly important moment at NFF”, Toriola said.
Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Chairman of MTN and Pioneer Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, described the union as “an important partnership.”