2018 W/Cup: NFF And The Rolling Dollars
Qualifying for the FIFA (senior) World Cup opens doors for the Super Eagles and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Apart from the largesse coming from FIFA to government allocation to sponsorship deals - it's raining dollars.
In nine months (between April 2017 and January 2018), the NFF led by Amaju Pinnick has sealed deals worth about N5 billion for the national teams, clubs and football development in the country.
Within this period, first was the partnership worth 2.5 billion naira with oil giants Aiteo Group, making the company Official Optimum Partner of the NFF for the next five years.
The money, that will see N500 million released annually, is for the prompt payment of salaries and allowances of Super Eagles coaches.
In June 2017, Aiteo again called the NFF to the table and they both stroke a deal worth N300 million to sponsor the Federation Cup for five years.
The title sponsorship ensures winners of the male version clinch a cash prize of 25 million Naira and female champions get 10 million Naira.
In January 2018, the NFF signed a partnership deal with soft drink giant Coca Cola for the Super Eagles, and by extension all national teams.
The deal makes Coca Cola the official soft drink of all NFF teams. It is worth N1.4 billion ($4m) and will last for a five-year period.
Days after, NFF signed a contract with WAPIC Insurance, making it the Official Insurance Services Provider and Co-Sponsor of the NFF.
NFF’s 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee, Shehu Dikko, explained that the contract is for five years in the initial with an option of renewal, and will cost the insurance outfit close to N100 million every year.
Though qualification for the FIFA World Cup would have easily attracted sponsors to the Super Eagles and NFF, I want to give kudos to the Pinnick-led administration for thinking like business men.
No doubt, the Super Eagles is a super brand and needs to be well packaged to attract top class sponsors.
But I want the NFF to look beyond the 2018 Russia World Cup.
For the partnerships that extend beyond one year and to other national teams; the federation must maintain the business relationship with the sponsors.
On how to judiciously utilize the huge funds pouring in at the moment, the NFF must realise that these are good times and things will not be like this in another 4 years – winter is coming.
It is what they have gathered in the year of plenty, that will sustain the FA in the years of lack.
NFF elections will hold just after the World Cup, and there will be contention for the posts of the presidency and executive positions.
But as it stands, it would be difficult to beat the ‘winning’ team of Pinnick, who has brought so much money to the federation.
But what next after the 2018 World Cup?
What next after the NFF elections and the current board are unbeaten?
Or what next after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations?
Also read: NFF Seals N2.5billion Deal With Oil Company
The Nigerian FA needs to first put its house in order by fixing its technical committee, which appears to be sleeping.
When they have an experienced and functional technical department, development of the game will be consistent.
Facility development is also an integral part of any reasonable FA with selfless leaders.
We know of standard equipment in England and United Arab Emirates which the NFF themselves have patronized to camp their national teams.
They can invest in building such world class facilities in Nigeria and even make money off it.
It is easy to make promises, but will the NFF swing into action?
Will the NFF develop grassroot football with part of these monies or just claim to spend everything in Russia?
Will they build stadiums in every state of the federation as proposed in their long-term plan or sponsor all executive members, their girlfriends and family members as ‘NFF contingent’ to Russia?Will they start making big plans for the Super Falcons, who did not receive their allowances after winning the 2016 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon and other national teams, or share the estacode among themselves for a “job well done”?