From Davido to Asake: Inside Social Media Banks of Nigerian Artistes Who Are Brand Ambassadors of Bookmakers

Akeem Lasisi writes that betting companies indirectly leverage the social media assets of leading Nigerian artistes

Betting and entertainment are intimate things. The reason is that gaming is fun as it is a business. No wonder more and more betting companies are appointing reigning Nigerian musicians as their brand ambassadors.

For instance, 2022 ensured it never ended until the National Lottery Nigeria (otherwise called the National Game)) announced influential rapper Olamide (aka Badoo) as its brand ambassador. That was in December. The Managing Director of the agency, Mr Abiodun Akintoju, had noted that the partnership with Olamide was part of the activities showing that it was thinking and rising bigger than it had ever done. An excited Olamide, too, said the National Game had been giving back to Nigerians, adding that he believed in its passion for fulfilling folks’ desires.

What the fans of his YBNL music family will, however, also note is that about a month before, bookmakers Parimatch had also unveiled Olamide’s rave-of-the-moment ally, Asake, as its ambassador. Expressing elation at the development, Asake crooned, “It is exciting to be associated with a global brand like Parimatch. I like their style, vision, appreciation and focus on creativity. I foresee us working excellently together.” 

In celebration of the partnership, Parimatch has launched a ₦10 million Terminator Jackpot offer that promised to give old and new customers a chance to win a share of the big prize. The actual worth of each of the deals is rarely made public, but the relationship between the gaming outfits and the musicians seems to be so mutually rewarding that some have been ambassadors for more than one company. 

For instance, Davido is the brand ambassador for 1XBet and Access Bet, while Fuji act, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, whom Eco Bet System unveiled in 2018, had earlier been appointed by in 2013. ‘O gba penalty wo throw in’ singer, Small Doctor, is a co-ambassador with Pasuma at Eco Bet System.

Other bookmakers that have chosen Nigerian artistes as brand ambassadors are Betway (Don Jazzy and Falz), MerryBet (Peter Okoye), Sportybet (Tekno Miles) and Frapapa (Reminisce). Similarly, Olamide had earlier identified with Surebet247 as a star emissary, announcing in 2015, “God bless our hustle. But can u bet ur life on ur hustle? Spend all ur last card on ur dream? Whatever ur dream is, every extra penny u have should be going to that. #SureBet247 #BloodyBeast #Grind.”

Gaming brands usually place emphasis on the feasibility, characters, resourcefulness and charisma of the music giants as some of the traits that prompt them to anoint them as their apostles. While the artistes have such in various degrees, a major factor also works for them: their social media assets. They generally command huge followings, which the betting companies now indirectly leverage. From Davido to Olamide, Peter Okoye, Don Jazzy, Falz, Tekno, Reminisce to Asake, for instance, none cumulatively has less than two million followers online, with Davido alone super solid with about 47 million followers across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The game companies would particularly be interested in the virtual crowds because they are mostly youths that often love to play. A visit to the social media of the creative birds reveals the following:

On Twitter, Davido boasts 13.1 million followers, while he has 26.2 and 7.852, respectively, on Instagram and Facebook. He is distantly followed by Don Jazzy, with 7.4 million followers on Twitter, 14.4 million on Instagram and 3, 824,570 on Facebook.

Peter Okoye is online-rich, with 4.3 million followers on Twitter, 12.1 on Instagram and 7.8 million on Facebook. Olamide’s profile goes thus: 6.1 million followers on Twitter, 10.2 million on Instagram and 2.9 million on Facebook. While Falz’s figures on the three platforms are Twitter: 2.9 million; Instagram: 9 million; and Facebook: 2.1 million, Tekno’s case confirms that the virtual mart on which all of them have the highest numbers of followers is Instagram. He flaunts 10.1 million followers on it, 2.5 million on Twitter and 1. 9 million on Facebook.

Reminisce has a million followers on Twitter, 2.2 million on Instagram and 589,000 on Facebook. Asake respectively has 301,000 on Twitter, 2.3 million on Instagram and 9.3k on Facebook – plus 377,618 on Asake Music on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Pasuma has 24k, 768k and 845k, respectively, on the three.

(All as of Tuesday, January 17, 2023.)

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