Amaju Pinnick, President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF); Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports Development with Coca-Cola Officials
Coca-Cola’s longstanding profile as a leading football brand in Nigeria received a boost recently, when it clinched the coveted title of ‘Sponsor and Official Soft Drink’ of Nigeria’s main national football team, the Super Eagles, and all other teams in the male and female categories.
The sponsorship deal with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), comes as the Super Eagles, one of Africa’s favourite football teams, warm up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, where they will contend with 32 other national teams for the world’s most iconic sport trophy. The deal, coupled with Coca-Cola’s status as Official Global Partner of the FIFA World Cup™, positions our Company to fully leverage the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour and the marketing activation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Nigeria.
Images above: (Top) Georgios Polymenakos, Nigeria Bottling Company MD; Bhupendra Suri, MD Coke Nigeria, Aisha Falode Nigeria Women's Football League Chair, Shade Morgan, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe. (Middle left) Bhupendra Suri, MD Coke Nigeria responds to media queries after the partnership signing ceremony. (Middle right) Winners of a COPA Coca-Cola tournament celebrating at a past event. (Bottom) Ex-International star, Kanu Nwankwo; Vice President, Nigerian Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi; General Secretary, Nigerian School Sports Federation.
The partnership signing event, which took place at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos, was also an opportunity for the NFF to unveil the entire programme of the Super Eagles ahead of the FIFA World Cup™ in Russia this summer.
The scope of the partnership will cover the Senior Men Team (Super Eagles), Senior Women Team (Super Falcons), National U23 Team (Dream Team), National U20 Men Team (Flying Eagles), National U20 Women Team (Falconets), National U17 Boys’ Team (Golden Eaglets), National U17 Girls’ Team (Flamingoes), National Beach Soccer Team (Supers and Eagles), National U15 Team (Future Eagles) and National Futsal Team.
In line with the brand’s global passion for football, Coca-Cola has had a strong association with football in Nigeria dating back to the 1950s. The major highlight was the ten-year title sponsorship of the Coca-Cola FA (Football Association) Cup, the country’s premier annual football tournament, between 1999 and 2009.
The Coca-Cola FA Cup then gave way to the Copa Coca-Cola grassroots football program. Launched in 2009, Copa Coca-Cola has grown to become a coveted leading platform for teenage football enthusiasts and those aspiring to play professional football, enabling them to develop and showcase their skills to local and international talent scouts.
Endorsed by the Nigerian Football Federation and the National School Sports Federation, Copa Coca-Cola enjoys the support of an increasing number of Nigeria’s celebrity footballers and coaches who provide technical training, mentorship and inspiration to the budding stars. The program goes beyond just developing football skills; it also focuses on improving football pitches in schools and has donated football kits to more than 500 schools. It is currently partnering with Lagos State in the construction of the multi-million Naira Gbagada Community Sports and Youth Development Centre in Lagos to serve as a COPA Coca-Cola legacy project
The newly completed Gbagada Community Sports & Youth Centre, a Copa Coca-Cola legacy project donated by the Company.
These proof points are a demonstration of Coca-Cola’s commitment to football in Nigeria at all levels and of the Company’s support for the development of the communities in which we operate.
Commenting on Coca-Cola’s involvement with football in Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri General Manager for Nigeria Franchise said, “Football connects all Nigerians. It is a language that all Nigerians love.
It is one sport that drives excitement among young Nigerians. As a brand, Coca-Cola is always inspiring moments of happiness and refreshment. This is why Coca-Cola and football connect well and we are pleased to be standing behind all the Nigerian national teams.”
Amaju Pinnick, President Nigeria Football Federation with Bhupendra Suri, MD Coke Nigeria and Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Nigeria PAC Manager.
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick welcomed the collaboration saying, “We are delighted that Coca-Cola has come on board to support the great work we are doing with our National Football Teams. It is exciting that Coca-Cola has chosen to come in to sponsor the Nigeria National Teams at a time when we all are committed to the mission of achieving the best –ever outing for Nigeria (and Africa) at the FIFA World Cup™ finals, and to take the other teams to the next level while building a sustainable football culture for our country.”
At the event, the Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, was also acknowledged for his fantastic performance demonstrated through the management of the team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches. The coach who expressed his joy for the commendation and contract extension, was particularly elated about the partnership between Coca-Cola and the NFF saying that it was a great move for the advancement of Football in Nigeria.
The ceremony set the ball rolling for the activations in the region that will culminate into the FIFA World Cup™ in June 2018 including the Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola which will be activated in four cities across the West Africa Business Unit: Abuja, Lagos, Dakar and Abidjan in March.
Fans across the three West African markets of Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast are #ReadyToDream of victory when the authentic World Cup™ Trophy tours the three countries in March 2018.
The Road to Russia has begun in earnest.