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.
Saudi Plans Acquisition of Inter Milan After Newcastle Fallout
By Adedapo Adesanya
Following a setback suffered from the failure to acquire English top-flight side, Newcastle United, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly moved its sight to Italian giants, Inter Milan FC.
Italian media are reporting that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of at least $500 billion is moving its focus on a takeover of the struggling Italian champions.
Saudi Arabia has been making attempts to secure the European football market and is said to be looking to complete a flagship deal with the purchase of the Nerazzurri so it can compete with its Gulf neighbours, the UAE and Qatar have been in the footballing business for over a decade through their purchase of Manchester City and PSG respectively.
Under Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has embarked on a similar economic development strategy which includes multi-billion-dollar investments in sports.
Inter Milan’s current owners, the China-based Suning group, are looking to sell at least half of their shares in the club as it faces financial difficulties since completing their own purchase of a controlling interest in the club from an Indonesian businessman, Mr Erick Thohir five years ago.
Inter is reportedly losing around $14 million a month, and even though they raised around $152 million in transfer fees in the summer, primarily through the sale of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, the Chinese firm is looking to significantly reduce its shareholding.
Meanwhile, after the failed Saudi bid, owner of Newcastle United Mike Ashley filed an anti-competition claim against the Premier League due to its failure to make a timely decision on the approval of the proposed $447 million takeover last year.
Reps Summon Sports Minister Over Funds for Doping Tests, Others
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on sports to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test in order to prevent the future occurrence of such an incident.
The House also called for an investigation into the activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on failed doping tests by Nigerian athletes at the recently concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In competitive sports, doping is the alleged use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors or to illegally improve athletic performance in competitions.
Nigeria is set to examine and prevent the wrong drugs used by athletes in a bid to meet the regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
This followed the implementation of a gesticulation by a member of the house, Mr Lawrence Ayeni, on the floor of the House on Wednesday in Abuja, where he noted that the Nigeria delegation to the Olympic games progressed well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating the in the comity of Nations.
He denounced the incident of July 20, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes.
It could be recalled that this included the highly-rated Ms Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
The Nigerian sprinter, who won the opening heat of the women’s 100m, had tested positive for human growth hormone as alleged by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and the allegation affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules.
According to Mr Ayeni, countries deemed to be at high risk of doping were meant to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
He added that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category.
This category, according to him, is where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests.
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development was, therefore, summoned to brief the Committee on Sports.
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions.
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.
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