Upcoming benefits for Nigeria football
Sir: Since opening shop in Nigeria two decades ago, MTN has demonstrated not just a willingness to help grow the most popular sport in the most populous black nation in the world, but has actually stayed true to the course despite multiple roadblocks.
Lately, MTN and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) inked a three-year renewable deal for the telecommunication giant to become the exclusive official communications partner to all Nigeria’s national teams. It is a partnership that has been at least 15 years in the making and which should move Nigerian football to other levels.
This agreement will benefit all of the multiple national teams under the remit of the NFF. That includes – on the men’s side – the Super Eagles, the national Under 23 team, the national under 20 teams, the national under 17 team, the national Futsal team and the national under 15 teams.
On the women’s side that covers the Super Falcons, the national under 20 teams, and the national under 17 teams. Under the terms of the deal, MTN will invest at least N1.5bh million in Nigerian football over the next three years.
Amaju Pinnick’s NFF has signed a rash of deals during this short period worth in the region of N2 billion, with even more expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Across the country, there are levels to sponsorships, commercial partnerships and collaborations. It has taken over a decade and a half of trying, but finally, the dream has happened and the partnership has finally come to fruition.
Nigerian football will benefit from having an injection of much-needed funding, that will ensure that the NFF can organize properly, which will, in turn, benefit the players and ensure that they give their best at all times, free of distractions.
Content producers will also enjoy the partnership, exploring their creative juices to the full with support from a partner that understands and encourages the creative process.
That next phase has already started with the qualification series for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and will continue with the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year and beyond. In all of that, one thing is for certain, things are about to change, in ways that will dazzle the imagination.
• Colin Udoh is a U.S.-based Nigerian journalist.