By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jordi Borrut Bel, has described the five-year partnership between the brewery giant and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as anÂ opportunity to celebrate theÂ true Nigerian spirit.Â
Speaking at the weekend when NB Plc and the football federation sealed a five-year partnership worth N450million a year, Bel insisted that his company was inspired by patriotism and passion.
â€œWe are indeed delighted about this partnership between Nigerian Breweries Plc and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). This relationship provides us an opportunity to celebrate theÂ true Nigerian spiritÂ that is fuelled by patriotism, passion and desire for victory, through the platform of Football,â€ observed Bel at the event which took at the Lagos brewery bar.
The agreement makesÂ Star LagerÂ the â€˜Official Alcoholic Drink of the Super Eaglesâ€™ whileÂ Amstel MaltaÂ is now the â€˜Official Malt Drink of the NFF and the National Teams,â€™ including Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup-bound Super Eagles.
President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, restated his position that NB Plc isÂ â€œan organisation that has been a torch-bearer of excellence and corporate social responsibility for the several decades it has operated in Nigeria,â€ while
Pinnick said: â€œThere were other companies that were interested in these categories but once Nigerian Breweries landed, they landed with conviction, with panache and with finality.
â€œWe are happy to be involved with them, and I must praise Pamodzi Sports Marketing Chairman Mike Itemuagbor, as well as Mitchell Obi and Ejiro Omonode for the roles they played in actualising this wonderful relationship.
â€œThe NFF is delighted to be in this relationship, and we want to assure you that Nigerian football will meet your expectations all round,â€ pledged the NFF chief.
With 10 former Nigeria captains watching and the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of Nigerian football administration seated, it was no surprise when NB Plcâ€™s Marketing Director, Franco Maria Maggi declared: â€œWe are not thinking of five years for this partnership. We are thinking of eternity. It is a dream that we have nursed for a long time. It is the ideal thing for Nigerian Breweries to partner Nigerian Football. We are keen to win with Nigeria.â€
Pinnick, alongside NFF 1stÂ Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, 2ndÂ Vice President Shehu Dikko and Deputy General Secretary Emmanuel Ikpeme signed a Nigerian jersey which was handed over to Bel, while Bel, Maggi and NB Plcâ€™s Corporate Affairs Adviser, Kufre Ekanem signed another which was handed to Pinnick. The NFF later presented customised jerseys to NB Plcâ€™s triumvirate.Â
Former Nigeria captains Olusegun Odegbami, Henry Nwosu, Peter Rufai, Augustine Eguavoen, Samson Siasia, Daniel Amokachi, Mutiu Adepoju, Garba Lawal and Ann Chiejine, as well as award-winning former Super Falconsâ€™ forward, Okunwa Igunbor witnessed the occasion.