Abimbola Akosile writes about four lucky Nigerian subscribers and consumers of StarTimes products, whose dreams were turned into reality when they emerged lucky winners of a promo and ended up in New York, USA on an all-expense paid trip to watch the National Basketball Association (NBA) players in action
It is not news that many Nigerian consumers of various products have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to winning prizes in promos by products’ companies.
There had been media reports where consumers who were promised an all-expense paid trip to the United States if they win the ultimate prizes in products promos, were rail-roaded to South Africa some years back, on the flimsy excuse that the winners didn’t possess US visas. Ironically, the phone manufacturer was supposed to help process visa for the ‘unlucky’ winners.
These shady acts have turned many consumers to cynics who avoid promos like the plague, in the belief that the biggest prizes will never be delivered to eventual winners.
So it was a refreshing change when in April, four Nigerian StarTimes subscribers travelled to New York, USA and enjoyed the company’s all-expense paid trips in fulfillment of its promise, as part of the NBA All Access Tour 2016 in conjunction with the National Basketball Association in America.
The four lucky subscribers, who emerged winners from among hundreds of others, were Messrs. Akosile Afolabi, a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur; Bode Oladunjoye, an educationist; Ikujenyo Oladele, an IT consultant, and Boluwaji Bamidele, a sports journalist.
The annual programme, which started off with an online competition beginning from February 25 through March, 2016 produced the lucky StarTimes subscribers as winners of the all-expense-paid trips to New York, USA who watched and experienced American basketball superstars live in action between April 8 and 12.
The winners visited different tourist spots in New York and New Jersey, did city tours, desert tour, and watched basketball games between Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles (LA) Lakers, etc.
One of the winners, Bode Oladunjoye said “The trip was all fun and memorable experience for the four of us that represented Nigeria. We had contingents from other countries like South Africa, Argentina, Denmark, and Colombia.
“From the flight, there was no dull moment because we had access to OnAir WiFi. When we got New York we visited several memorable locations like World Trade Centre, Central Park, One World Observatory building (the tallest building in US) and had a boat cruise that took us to the Statue of Liberty.
“I always saw basketball as a minor sport until I watched two matches live. I was also privileged to take photographs with the NBA players, even with some of their legends. The live match between Toronto Raptures and New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden was fun and interesting. You can imagine watching basketball in a VIP corner.
“The same experience goes to the second match between Washington Wizard and Brooklyn Nets. This trip gave me the opportunity to meet different people with different cultures. We also went to NBA store and we were given 20 per cent off on any item bought from the store. All thanks to StarTimes and the NBA”.
Also, according to Afolabi Akosile, “The journey to represent StarTimes at the NBA All Access Games in New York started prior to my embarking on the journey with three other winners. It was a blessing to be chosen among the lucky winners to participate in the all-expenses paid trip to the United States.
“I met Hall of Fame Basketball player from New York Knicks who took group pictures with us and also autograph gifts. The game for the night was between Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks. It was more than a game as this was my first time of watching NBA basketball live with a full show in entertainment, basketball skills and technology. Being part of NBA All Access Tours gave me great insight to how the game of basketball is held in high esteem in America. I had the great opportunity of taking pictures as well as autograph gifts with current No 4 player Arron Afflalo of New York Knicks.
“We also took group pictures and autographs of Brooklyn Nets player. It was a great time of fun and exploration as planned by the NBA not only to watch basketball games but also to showcase the greatness of America. It was five days of entertainment and live basketball shows which I loved. I have to appreciate in great measure StarTimes and their officials for giving this wonderful opportunity to me. I really encourage more Nigerians to watch NBA channels on StarTimes and join next year’s promo to qualify”, he added.
StarTimes Public Relations Manager, Mr. Israel Bolaji, said the All-Access Tour was designed in collaboration with the NBA TV to reward basketball-loving StarTimes subscribers with a great opportunity to meet their heroes and superstars in person and fulfill their dreams of experiencing basketball in its full glamour on the world’s biggest platform.
“This basketball trivia game is our response to the demand of our subscribers for more exciting sporting initiatives and everyone can participate in the program; To be a winner, get a StarTimes decoder if you don’t have it already. Like StarTimes facebook page, post your pictures and link to uploaded personal YouTube video showing some basketball skills on StarTimes website and get your friends and families to like the video. Top 10 finalists will be selected and 3 winners will emerge based on superior skills and highest likes.”
“In 2014, StarTimes thought it necessary to introduce a trivia campaign in collaboration with NBA TV United States to give StarTimes subscribers and basketball loving Nigerians the opportunity to watch and experience live NBA matches in the USA. Mr. Boluwaji Bamidele and Chinedu Iroche emerged as winners and travelled in 2015 to the USA.
Kafar added that “it was the collective desire of StarTimes to bring sporting entertainments to all Nigerians, especially our esteemed sports loving subscribers. Whether it’s in the area of basketball, football, tennis or boxing, we consider it important bringing good sporting content to our subscribers.”
The NBA TV channel is exclusively available on the StarTimes (Channel 258, DTT) on Classic and Unique bouquets, and channels 251 (SD View) and 252 (HD View) both on DTH Dish TV.
NBA TV is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network owned by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and operated by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner. It is the oldest cable network in North America to be owned or controlled by a professional sports league, having launched on March 17, 1999.
Dedicated to basketball, the network features exhibition, regular season and playoff game telecasts from the NBA and related professional basketball leagues, as well as NBA-related content including analysis programs, specials and documentaries. The network also serves as national broadcaster of the NBA D-League and WNBA games.
Other sports channels also available on StarTimes include ST Sports Life, ST World Football, ST Sports Premium, ST Sports Arena, ST Sports Focus, NTA Sport 24, Fox Sport 2, Fox Sport, NBA TV, and MCS Sports.
StarTimes is the leading digital-TV operator in Africa, covering 80 per cent of the continent’s population with a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors. StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 440 authorised channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programmes, fashion, religion etc.