By OJEIKERE AIKHOJE
With the conclusion of the 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League season, there is renewed hope in the NPFL brand, thanks to Investment Banking group, GTI, strategic partners of the Interim Management Company, organisers of the league.
sportbusinessbrand.com checks reveal that the strategic role played by GTI is not just helping to recruit more believers in the NPFL brand, but also convincing sponsors to reconsider their positions.
Building the brand to boost emotional connection with Nigerians.
As a Nigerian project, there is the need for Nigerians to believe in the NPFL and GTI’s presence as strategic partner has come at the right time to reposition the league.
Earlier in the year, Group Managing Director of GTI Group, Abubakar Lawal, announced that GTI’s strategic partnership covers title sponsorship, broadcast rights, match officials’ indemnities, infrastructure development, properties, and ensuring that the 20 premier league clubs become independent of government sponsorship.
Group Managing Director of GTI Group, Abubakar Lawal
With the NPFL domiciled with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and on The Nigeria Football Fund, it has been divorced from the stranglehold of any individual or group.
Chairman IMC, Gbenga Elegbeleye
Teams in the NPFL shared N200million (N10million each) before the start of the season and the five of the six teams that competed in the Championship Play Off received N5million each.
For the first time since the inception of Professional Football in 1990, the prize money recorded a significant increase to N100million, which was presented to champions, Enyimba.
The possibility of the prize money increasing is assured as GTI seeks to attract more investors and sponsors.
Interestingly, part of the prize money has been tied to the development of infrastructure by clubs.
Like the prize money, the past season experienced a remarkable departure from issues associated with match officials’ indemnities as GTI ensured officials were paid directly. It was a big achievement considering the fact that the integrity of the NPFL was affected by this in the past.
Another area GTI effectively managed was the issue of broadcast rights. For the first time in five years, matches returned to SuperSport, which gave the league Pan African viewership.
Considering the importance of Television, this was clearly a great opportunity to enhance the NPFL brand and personal brands of footballers.
As part of its efforts to reposition the NPFL, GTI unveiled a partnership with Propel Sports Africa to enable live streaming of matches Over-The-top (OTT) platform “NPFL Live.
At the unveiling of the new NPFL logo, Lawal stated that the company was employing every best international practice to give Nigerian football a desirable breakthrough that enables it compete with the best football leagues in the world.
He said: “We at GTI are committing lots of material and financial resources towards ensuring that NPFL enjoys robust financial support in order to become self-sustaining with necessary measures to ensure transparency in all its dealings with investors, sponsors and other partners.”
Project Director of The Nigeria Football Fund, Nelson Ine said: “GTI has set up a transparent football ecosystem which is the best way to restore confidence in our clubs, sponsors, investors and stakeholders of our beautiful game.”
About Ojeikere Aikhoje:
Aikhoje is a cerebral football journalist cum Sports PR Strategist.
Based in Nigeria’s Sports Business capital, Lagos, he runs a specialised marketing and communications consultancy business: www.matchroom.com.ng, with a focus primarily on sport.
He also writes about Sports Brands and works with football clubs in a wide range of areas from strategic planning, marketing and communications, digital, fan engagement, public affairs and knowledge sharing/exchange programs.
Aikhoje is Founder of MatchRoom Football Business Academy, Publisher of SPORTBUSINESS+BRANDS Magazine and a Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Licensed Coach with two Certificates from Football Coaches of African Nations (FCAAN).
You can follow him on Twitter: @ojeksaikhoje