By Fred Edoreh
Nigeria's premium lager beer, Star, on Tuesday in a colourful ceremony held inside the Ball Room of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, sealed a "multi-year" partnership deal with the League Management Company (LMC) for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The relationship, according to the Portfolio Manager, National Premium Lager of Nigeria Breweries PLC. makers of Star Lager Beer, Tokunboh Adodo. is conceived with the objective of bringing "premium experience to consumers."
"Our objective is to bring the standard of other societies where football is at its best to our consumers. We expect to see those activities that will enable consumers to experience football like they have never seen before. We believe in this platform and our partnership is about moving the NPFL forward seeing that the gentlemen in the LMC have shown professionalism and adherence to global best practices. Star is the first beer brand to ever sponsor the NPFL and the partnership is worth every dime we are putting into it. The most important word is partnership. It is a win win for both Star, the NPFL all stakeholders.
The National Marketing Director of NBL, Franco Maggi who assured that the partnership is a multi year relationship said the most important thing is that Star and the NPFL are together.
"This is almost like a natural thing. Star is the longest selling beer and it has been there at every great moment in Nigeria and it is just natural that we are also with the NPFL which is providing a great leap for Nigerian football. What is important is the fact that we are together. We wouldn't be doing it if we do not intend to stay for a long time. We are here to support the growth of football in Nigeria and if the people who support football in Nigeria support our brand, we will be happy."
Elated chairman of the League Management Company, Shehu Dikko, described the partnership as unique, expressing optimism that the relationship will give the league a big push.
"Our objective is to get a partner that will work with us at the back end, take the league into the heart of Nigerians, we are very positive that Star lager will contribute greatly towards helping us achieve this and we are very excited with the partnership."
First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Seyi Akinwunmi who represented the board at the ceremony described the partnership as a marriage between two excellent entities.
"Those who know when the LMC started cannot believe that we are having this ceremony. The LMC has come out with first class in managing the NPFL. Star is a first class brand and the partnership is like a marriage between two first class professionals. The deal is very transparent and the NFF is in total support of it"
Already, Star Lager has embossed the NPFL logo on its foil and Adodo who displayed the new branding has assured that the Star Lager with NPFL logo will go into the market "in few weeks time."
Dignitaries at the consummation of the partnership includes the Managing Director of Nigeria Breweries PLC, Nico Vervelde, Chief Executive Officer of the League Management Company, Hon Nduka Irabor, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu, representative of the Federal Ministry of Sports, Engr. A Alanamu, chairmen of NPFL clubs from across the country and distinguished players in the football industry.