By Dipo Olowookere
An agreement has been signed between Dana Air and a football club in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), Akwa United FC of Akwa Ibom State.
The deal will see the airline operator flying the team to their away league matches across the country in return for branding opportunities on the club’s souvenirs.
The agreement is expected to boost the local league and make fans enjoy more attractive football, which had been missing as a result of fatigue experienced by players due to long hours spent on the road while travelling for away matches.
At the signing ceremony recently, Chairman of Akwa United, Mr Paul Bassey, a veteran sports journalist, described the deal as a turning point in the development of football in Nigeria.
According to him, “This partnership will definitely ease our travels and we commend Dana Air, Nigeria’s foremost airline for this.”
He said, “Air travel is the safest in the world and with this, Dana Air has taken a lot of burden off the club.
“The other day, we heard of a team that was involved in a road mishap, thank God the players came out unhurt.
“We thank Dana Air for giving back to the society and supporting Akwa Ibom state. Dana Air will surely get the value for this sponsorship.”
In his remarks, Chief Operating Officer/ Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo, congratulated Akwa United for winning the league cup in 2017 and for starting this season on a very impressive note.
“Just like I said when we also unveiled our sponsorship for Heartland FC of Owerri, it’s not all about the branding opportunities or commercials, but our commitment to developing football in Nigeria and supporting the Nigerian league. It about making our league glamorous and encouraging the players to be the best.
“If we bring the passion with which we follow the teams in the EPL our league will be better for it. We have taken the lead, and we hope other corporate bodies will look in that direction,” Mr Mbanuzuo said.
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