Imagine if your brand was a sponsor on the shirt of MFM FC when Sikiru Olatunbosun scored the wonder goal that announce him to the world. The benefit of shirt sponsorship to a football team cannot be overemphasized as it is extremely important to both the club and the brand involved.
Let us consider this assertion which might just be true for Nigerian football market that, ‘there is a major disconnect in sports sponsorship. While audiences are migrating to digital and social media to follow and enjoy sports, sponsor deals are still being negotiated almost solely on the basis of TV viewing figures. – Sports Business International.’
By sponsoring a club, a company is connected to its consumers who can then relate directly with the brand. It is also not to say that the sponsors do not benefit from the advertisement displayed to millions of people around around the world who come across the shirt or other publicity materials. As the money is important to the club, so is the publicity important to the company whose brand is on display. On the part of the clubs, those who have been transparent enough to declare what the money realized is used for, it is not far from stadium maintenance, beefing up the squad among other important endeavours.
It is important to note that only four out of twenty football clubs in the Nigeria professional football league are privately owned and financed, while only about one or two have shirt sponsorship/partnership. Ordinarily, the likes of Kano Pillars, Enyimba FC, Shooting Stars et al should not find it difficult to get these kinds of deals owing to their rich history, fan base and success both on the homefront and the continent at large. This does not imply that smaller teams are not entitled to endorsements, but the fact is, bigger clubs are more positioned to benefit from the largess.
About three years ago, some clubs benefited from endorsement deals from Guinness (Dubic Beer and Harp Beer) with Enyimba, 3SC, Lobi Stars, Sunshine Stars, Rangers, Heartland and Dolphins. Enyimba and 3SC are endorsed by Dubic Beer while the other five are endorsed by Harp. BUA Group is the shirt sponsor of Kano Pillars while ULO Consultants sponsors Sunshine Stars. But today, you hardly find any endorsement. Could it be said that Nigerians football clubs are not there yet to get these deals at ease?
The recent partnerships the League management Company has had with European football league bodies is paying off already commercially and technically. The NPFL-LaLiga partnership signed in 2016 have recorded a number of exchanges between the two leagues including a tour of Spain by an NPFL All-Star team. It should therefore be noted that global recognition of your brand is guaranteed as the league is being positioned for excellence.
What more can your company ask for if it becomes a sponsor? Your logo will be printed on millions of t-shirts which will be sold and the TV coverage that each team receives means that the sponsor’s logo will be beamed directly into millions of homes across the globe.