Nigeria’s leading beer brand, Star Lager, on Tuesday in Lagos, announced a partnership with the Nigerian Professional Football League to be the first official beer partner of the NPFL.
The event brought together stakeholders from the Nigerian football industry to celebrate a major milestone in Nigeria’s football history.
This first of its kind partnership will commence from the 2015/2016-football league season and end with the football league season of 2019/2020.
Commenting on the partnership during the event, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Franco Maria-Maggi said: “We’ll be finding ways to use this unique partnership of the NPFL to give our consumers more reason to enjoy the local football. Football in Nigeria and Star Lager have a proud past, a strong present and very bright future in front of them.”
Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko in his remarks said: “We are excited about this partnership with Star Lager, and we hope to achieve more from this with the support of all stakeholders involved. Having Star Lager Beer as a major sponsor will certainly be the key to a bright future for professional football league in Nigeria.”
Star Lager has consistently been a long-standing supporter of football, from championing the World Cup through its “Shine On Nigeria” campaign to testing the passion, knowledge and skills of football fans through the Star Super fans game show.
The partnership is part of Star’s commitment to create numerous platforms to recognise and reward consumers for their football passion.
Star Football is Nigeria’s largest football platform, which brings fans together to celebrate and acknowledge their passion to the beautiful game of football.
An average of 8,000 fans attended games in the 2014/15 seasons, 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 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 organisations 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 organisations will take advantage of football to reach their target markets as we continue to build an attractive league,” said 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 challenges of many state 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 four million impressions are made about the NPFL on Twitter every weekend.
It is the reason why Star Lager, 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 Partner 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,” Maria-Maggi explained.