By Adedapo Adesanya
European football giants, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have released a joint statement, making it clear they have not given up on the European Super League despite threats of sanctions.
On Friday, Business Post had reported that the Union of the European Football Association (UEFA) has handed sanctions, including financial punishments, to nine of the 12 clubs behind the aborted Super League project.
The governing body of European football said that in a spirit of reconciliation, the nine clubs had agreed to a “Club Commitment Declaration” and accepted a five per cent cut in their European revenue for one season.
The nine clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid – have also expressed their commitment to UEFA and its competitions.
However, three clubs, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus, did not sign the declaration, leaving UEFA with the rights to take whatever action it deemed appropriate against those clubs that have so far refused to renounce the Super League.
In the statement, the clubs noted that they “have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offences to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue.”
They claimed that the line of action is intolerable under the rule of law, explaining that tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering the Federation of the International Football Association (FIFA) and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are ongoing.
They explained that the Super League project was designed jointly by its 12 founding clubs with the aim of providing solutions to the current unsustainable situation in the football industry, to bring financial stability to the entire European football family, currently under the “effects of a deep crisis that threatens the survival of many clubs, and offer fans around the world the best possible show and to reinforce global interest in the sport, which is not a “given” and is challenged by new generational trends.”
Moreover, it claimed that one of its main objectives was to promote women’s football on a global level.
The statement noted that despite the fact that the remaining nine clubs involved in the Super League project have now found themselves in such inconsistent and contradictory position when signing a number of commitments to UEFA, it will persevere in the pursuit of adequate solutions, despite the unacceptable and ongoing pressures and threats received from the body.
“Mostly, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and firm will discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family,” the statement concluded.
Rite Foods to Refresh Athletes at Abeokuta 10km Marathon
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Athletes participating in the Abeokuta 10km Marathon scheduled for November 13, 2021, will be refreshed, one of the sponsors, Rite Foods Limited, has assured.
The international event, specifically for Nigerians within the country and in the diaspora will start from Oba Alake’s palace and end at the M.K.O Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
It will have five water points at the 2.5km, 5km, 7.5km, and the finishing area, likewise two refreshing points along the route, Rite Foods, makers of the popular Bigi brand, disclosed.
It was learned that the winning prize for the elite category would be $2,000, while the first runner-up and second runner-up will receive $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.
In addition, the overall winner of the special category will go home with N500,000, while the first runner-up and second runner-up will receive N300,000 and N100,000, respectively.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Brand Manager of Rite Foods, Ms Boluwatife Adedugbe, stated that, “The Bigi Table water will be available at all water points to rejuvenate our runners.”
“As we market our products, we have to demonstrate the Bigi brands’ closeness to them; hence Bigi is sponsoring the competition,” Ms Adedugbe further said at a press conference held in Abeokuta on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.
She also noted that the company was ready for the big sporting event, adding that this year’s edition would be different because it will serve as a platform for promoting Nigerian talents that would make the nation proud at the international level.
She stated that since consumers are at the core of the Bigi brand, sponsoring a worthy initiative like the Abeokuta marathon shows Rite Foods care about their wellbeing, disclosing that the brand was the refreshing sponsor in 2019 and has taken the step further as the title sponsor for this year’s event.
Also speaking, the Ogun State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Kehinde Oluwadare, expressed Governor Dapo Abiodun’s goodwill message of commendation to Rite Foods, applauding its gesture of nurturing skills in athletics.
He said the Ogun State government was proud to identify with the sponsors, especially Rite Foods, in creating a platform of social value that would not only build talents but also youth engagement.
“The race will not only discover budding talents but will develop them to greatness, as it is another golden opportunity for youths to engrave their names on the world map,” the Commissioner affirmed.
On his part, Mr Bukola Olopade, the CEO of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the organisers of the race, extolled Rite Foods’ Bigi for promoting a Nigerian cause and urged other organizations to follow suit.
NPFL, Bet9ja Seal Sponsorship Deal
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
In another exciting round of news for local football, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has sealed a sponsorship deal with the country’s foremost sport betting and gaming company, Bet9ja, for the latter to become the official supporter of the former under the betting and gaming category.
The multi-year partnership which was firmed up by the League Management Company (LMC) earlier today will officially take effect from the 2021/2022 NPFL season.
The deal will give Bet9ja the right to associate with the NPFL while participating clubs will benefit from branding placements across all match venues, events, programs of the league, as well as media channels.
With the agreement, the betting company will be featured in content across match broadcasts of the NPFL and its TV channels.
This is to help develop and popularize the nation’s football league and make it more enjoyable for fans to watch and for the clubs’ commercial rewards, while both parties achieve their mutual goals.
In the statement released on the LMC platform, it said “we are glad to have signed up Bet9ja under the betting and gaming category as one of the NPFL partners under our revamped marketing strategy.
“We are optimistic that with this landmark deal with Nigeria’s foremost betting and gaming brand and other gaming brands within our business category and sector will seize the fantastic opportunities created and key into the new NPFL project.
Expressing delight, Bet9ja was quoted in the statement as saying, “We undoubtedly appreciate the vision of the LMC towards the NPFL and happy to be part of this exciting project. Our strategy has always been to stand out and deliver excellent value to our customers and partners. This is a partnership geared towards achieving these goals and one that is built to last.”
Meanwhile, the date for the formal unveiling of the partnership is yet to be revealed along with further details of the agreement as stated by the local league governing body.
Nigerian Gaming Firm Partners Dutch Conglomerate
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Nigerian fantasy sports company, Fantastic.ng, has sealed a promotional partnership deal with Dutch conglomerate, LambWeston, owners of the Poundo Potato brand in Nigeria.
This partnership was sealed in a bid to capture a share of the $2 billion market as 60 million Nigerians regularly engage in sports betting generating billions in wagers.
Commenting on the development, co-founder of Fantastic Technologies Limited, Mr Felix Okoye, disclosed that the firm was set to convert fans of sport into fans of brands, as it will continue to connect super-engaged audiences across the continent to the thousands of brands who desire their attention.
Speaking on the deal, the Managing Director for LambWeston, Mr Victor Nwachukwu, expressed excitement to work with such a gaming platform.
“Like millions of Nigerians, Dutch people are obsessed with football so for us it was a natural fit to partner with Fantastic in order to amplify our Poundo Potato brand in Nigeria,” he stated.
Fantastic is a unique free-to-play mobile platform offering games such as predict and win, fantasy football and sports trivia.
The Nigerian gaming firm employs a Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) model, a business model that makes it possible for Fantastic.ng to sell their product or service in partnership with another firm to an end customer.
The firm generates revenue from users through weekly or monthly subscriptions and companies that can purchase a variety of promotional packages to engage their customers and amplify their brands.
Fantastic has attracted a variety of technology investors since its launch including serial angel investor, Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital and Blackaion Capital
While LambWeston is the first corporate partner to come on board, the Fantastic team confirmed they are in talks with multiple parties including one of the largest digital banks in Nigeria and a multinational brewery company.
To support its technology, Fantastic Tech recently completed the acquisition of soccer data and social networking site Sangalo. The company also received a national license from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission which will now allow it to establish the Fantastic brand across Nigeria.
The platform currently has about 10,000 registered users and has processed over two million predictions in 2021.
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