Star Lager boost Nigeria league profile with sponsorship deal.
The Nigerian Professional Football League, run by the League Management Company, is starting to hold down its place as a veritable avenue for Nigeria’s teeming football fans that enjoy their game with all its entertainment and drama.
An average of 8000 fans attended games in the 2014/15 season, according to the LMC’s season review. This is the biggest crowd number for domestic football in Nigeria for more than 15 years and is expected to rise this year. It is common place these days to see families attend local league matches in their bright club replica jerseys due to the increased security at venues across the country.
While the win-at-home at-all-cost syndrome is fast becoming a thing of the past with 31 away wins, the highest in 10 years, the league has become more competitive as clubs now chase points on the road leading to greater excitement for the fans, the biggest stakeholders.
The NPFL, like many important leagues across the world, needs big corporate organizations to support its message of youth empowerment – at least 700 footballers are employed across the 20 club sides in the league.
“This partnership agreement with Star shows that there is opportunity for corporate Nigeria in our league and we hope that many more organizations will take advantage of football to reach their target market as we continue to build an attractive league,” said LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko.
However, due to the fact that more than 70 per cent of clubs are still owned by state governments, player salaries are hampered by the financial insolvency of many governments across the country. Still, there have been more positives than negatives in the domestic scene, which has seen brand impressions grow digitally with increased interest. An average of 500 posts with 4 million impressions are made about the NPFL on Twitter every weekend (Keyhole).
It is the reason why STAR Lager Beer, Nigeria’s first indigenous beer, has taken interest in this growing local success story in order to push it beyond its current reach.
“We’re excited to sign this agreement with the LMC that sees us become Official Beer of the NPFL for the next four seasons. It’s a partnership that we expect to bring excitement to Nigerian football and the fans who love the domestic game,” said Managing Director, Nigeria Breweries, Nicolas Vervelde.
Since the first STAR Lager bottle rolled out in 1949 out of its Lagos plant, Star has been a market leader and was listed by African Business magazine in its 100 Most Admired African Brands in 2015. Star has put its brand to good use in promoting music and youth lifestyle via projects like STAR Trek, STAR Quest and STAR Mega Jam.
With a massive investment in the NPFL through this new partnership, Star will be able to connect its message of vibrancy and excitement with football fans across the country.
The partnership would see STAR provide excitement to fans during matches through activations, music and fun games at match venues. Fans would be able to win signed memorabilia, replica match balls and jerseys as well as key rings.
For many that have complained about the lack of entertainment after matches, Star’s experience with music would ensure there’s never a dull moment post-match.
Star would also amplify the NPFL brand via radio and television broadcasts also on traditional and digital media, which would increase the awareness of the Nigerian League’s brand that is set to rival the biggest European leagues.
With a major partner like Star, the NPFL will be assured of the support of a major Nigerian brand that has expertise in connecting people and ensuring relationships are nurtured in fun ways. In turn, this will open the doors to other corporations to invest in the league.
The domestic league is the lifeline of the Nigerian national teams, Star would inadvertently be helping create a platform for young Nigerians to achieve their dreams of wearing the Green and White.
Media spending will increase as the partnership will see Star invest in the publication of match fixtures and reviews as well as statistics in various media channels.
As part of the agreement, Star would also sponsor a Football League Feature Game that would bring in foreign clubs to face a league All-Star Team during its off-season.
For those wondering what STAR would get in return for its huge investment in the NPFL, it is worthy to note that the brand is cementing its place as a friend of the domestic game. It would support the passion of local fans from Awka to Kaduna, Bauchi to Uyo and across Nigeria.
Over the coming seasons, fans would find no better way to enjoy their Nigerian league games than over bottles of STAR Lager. Truly, great times are ahead for fans of the NPFL.
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