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Marketing Team Nigeria amidst coronavirus in race to Tokyo Olympics

By Gowon Akpodonor
21 March 2020   |   4:15 am
Over the years, one major problem associated with Nigeria’s participation at the Olympic Games was issue of over-dependent on government for funding.

Marketing Team Nigeria amidst Coronavirus in race to Tokyo Olympics

• Nilayo Sports Takes Campaign To Stakeholders
Over the years, one major problem associated with Nigeria’s participation at the Olympic Games was issue of over-dependent on government for funding. In most cases, the nation’s contingent returned home with embarrassing stories ranging from grumble by the athletes over unpaid allowances to shortfall in ticket refunds.

But the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare says enough of the old tradition. To help the government solve the problem of over-dependent for funding, Dare named Nilayo Sports Management Limited as the official marketing consultant to Team Nigeria for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Though, the road to Tokyo Olympics is unclear as sporting activities are at crossroad globally due to the spill of the dreaded coronavirus, Nilayo Sports Management Limited says it is not relenting in its efforts to make the dream a reality.

At the event on February 25, Dare gave reasons for the choice of Nilayo Sports saying: “We gave them the marketing rights having considered the profiles and track records of several other marketing companies. We feel that Nilayo has what it takes to market team Nigeria to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

And just when the outfit (Nilayo Sports) was about to take its gospel of ‘support for Team Nigeria’ to all looks and crannies of the country, the dreaded coronavirus surfaced. The disease is spreading at an alarming rate around the globe, unsettling the stock market and causing operational disruptions to industries spanning retail to travel and hospitality.

Sports analysts are expecting to see an uptick in investments from marketers who are eager to capitalise on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But the outbreak is having a cooling effect and some less predictable consequences distinct to the event with some major sporting events already closed or suspended as a result of the virus.

But the Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, Bukola Olopade, says they had made appreciable breakthrough in their quest to make Team Nigeria the project of all stakeholders.

“We are making progress in taking the Olympics and supports for Team Nigeria to all stakeholders,” Olopade told The Guardian during the week. “This is possible because Nigeria’s sports now has a bright prospect under the present minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare. He has added value to sports sponsorship in the country.”

Olopade stated that the ‘Adopt-an-Athlete initiative by the Sports Minister had recorded huge success with the like of Adekuroye Odunayo, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume and a host of others being adopted by philanthropists and corporate organisations for the Tokyo Olympics.

“It is the best antidote for Nigeria’s sports development,” Olopade said. “This is how to go about sports development. For me, this is best time for sports entrepreneurs in the country because we now have a Sports minister, who is determined, focused and good in the implementation of ideas.

“Dare has demonstrated that he is an exceptional leader, moboliser and excellent manager of man and materials. He is best sports entrepreneur the country has being waiting for. The ‘Adopt-an-Athlete initiative,’ which he launched for Team Nigeria ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games is paying off in a big way for our sports,” he stated.

Olopade continues: “For us as marketers, the future of Nigeria’s sports looks bright under Sunday Dare. We are already looking beyond the Tokyo Olympics, but our short-term plans for the 2020 Olympics will benefit Team Nigeria’s athletes in both cash and kind.”

One of the strategies adopted by Nilayo Sports Management Limited in raising the awareness needed to support Team Nigeria for the Tokyo Olympics is to decorate Managing Directors of companies, who had supported sports over the years, captains of industries and sports-loving governors across the country.

Sports Minister Sunday Dare decorates Governor Ifeanyi Okowa with a sports award in Asaba

Last week, Sports Minister, Dare, led a delegation to Asaba, Delta State where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was decorated with an award of honour in recognition of his tremendous efforts towards sports development in Nigeria as well as his support towards Team Nigeria’s preparations for the 2020 Olympics.

The Minister told journalists that the award was in affirmation of the role the Delta state government had always played to further sports development in Nigeria.

“The award is a symbolic award. It is a validation and recognition of his support to sports development, his support for talent hunts and our athletes. It is also very symbolic as we prepare for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We will be going round to see other sports-loving Governors and give them similar awards in order to get them to spread the Olympics spirit and most importantly, to support Team Nigeria for the Olympics,” Dare stated.

Okowa is among the few state governors, who had repeatedly displayed their passions for sports in Nigeria.

From hosting several matches involving the Super Eagles, Governor Okowa equally proved his deep passion for sports by hosting Asaba 2018 Senior African Athletics Championship amongst other sports competitions staged in the state.

Okowa has always maintained that grassroots sports development holds the key to Nigeria’s future successes in sporting activities.

“We are done with Delta State Governor and our next move will be to decorate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State,” Olopade stated. “They have done a lot for our sports development.

“After Lagos and Ogun, we will move to other parts of the country to decorate other governors. It is not an easy task, but we will surely deliver what Team Nigeria will need to succeed in Tokyo,” he added.

As a way of leading by example, Olopade revealed that his company, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, had adopted two young athletes and would provide them support with the opportunity to reach their full potential. “We will stand with them every time they wear the green and white colours of Nigeria,” he stated.