BY MONICA IHEAKAM
Chairman, League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko has expressed delight with the historic partnership between Star Lager Beer and the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
At an epoch making celebration held on Tuesday, Star Lager Beer on , unveiled a first of it’s kind 5-year -partnership with the NPFL expected to run from the 2015/2016 league season till the 2019/2020 league season.
The event which brought together stakeholders from the Nigerian football circle, saw Dikko and the Portfolio Manager, National Premium, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Tokounbo Adodo in a symbolic exchange of jersey.
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.
Speaking on the romance between the two world class brands, Dikko described the partnership as a uniquely different milestone aimed at making the Nigerian league more vibrant.
“The NPFL has grown rapidly over the past few years and with new partnerships like this, we hope to push it beyond expectations and make it the biggest league in Africa. Bringing Star to the table is only natural as Star has identified with football in Nigeria over the years.
“This agreement 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 markets as we continue to build an attractive league,” said Dikko.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Nico Vervelde remarked that the 5-year partnership will push the frontiers for football in Nigeria, adding that it was hoped that the union would be the start of great things for Nigerian football fans and lovers of the Star brand.
“We have a longstanding claim to football, so it’s only natural for us to prove our love for the game by partnering with Nigeria’s foremost league, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
“We can assure fans of innovative and thrilling ideas of developments in the years to come, Vervelde stated. An average of 8,000 fans attended games in the 2014/15 season, according to the LMC’s season review.
This was the biggest crowd number for domestic football in Nigeria for more than 15 years and was expected to rise this year. It is common 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.