Star becomes official beer partner of the NPFL

L-R: Franco Maria Maggi, Shehu Dikko, Nicolaas Vervelde and Seyi Akinwunmi

Nigeria’s foremost beer brand, Star Lager Beer announced its brand-new partnership deal with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at an event at Eko Hotel & Suites on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

The partnership makes it the first of its kind, as Star Lager Beer becomes the first Nigerian beer brand to partner the NPFL on a scale as the “Official Beer Partner” of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Speaking on the partnership between Star Lager Beer and the NPFL, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Franco Maria Maggi, disclosed that, “We’ll be finding ways to use this unique partnership of the NPFL to give our consumers more reasons to enjoy the local football. Football in Nigeria and Star Lager have a proud past, a strong present and very bright future in front of them.”

The new partnership, which is expected to enhance the brand’s visibility, will also boost the profile of NPFL and the League Management Company (LMC), managers of the NPFL. It is expected to see a Star branded NPFL in the coming months.

Portfolio Manager, National Premium, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Mr Tokunbo Adodo, further stated: “The idea is for our football loving consumers to relate with Star, as we become the first beer brand to be an official supporter of the NPFL and its teams. We can also show all football loving Nigerians in general, the brand’s identity including an all-new-range of possibilities which is now opened up to them by means of this partnership.”

An average of 8,000 fans attended games in the 2014/15 season, according to the LMC’s season review. This is the biggest crowd number for domestic football in Nigeria for more than 15 years and is expected to rise this year.

It is common place these days to see families attend local league matches in their bright club replica jerseys due to the increased security at venues across the country.

While the win-at-home at-all-cost syndrome is fast becoming a thing of the past with 31 away wins, the highest in 10 years, the league has become more competitive as clubs now chase points on the road leading to greater excitement for the fans, the biggest stakeholders.

The NPFL, like many important leagues across the world, needs big corporate organisations to support its message of youth empowerment – at least 700 footballers are employed across the 20 club sides in the league.

“This partnership agreement with Star shows that there is opportunity for corporate Nigeria in our league and we hope that many more organizations will take advantage of football to reach their target markets as we continue to build an attractive league,” said LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko.

However, due to the fact that more than 70 per cent of clubs are still owned by state governments, player salaries are hampered by the financial challenges of many state governments across the country. Still, there have been more positives than negatives in the domestic scene, which has seen brand impressions grow digitally with increased interest. An average of 500 posts with 4 million impressions are made about the NPFL on Twitter every weekend.

It is the reason why STAR Lager Beer, Nigeria’s first indigenous beer, has taken interest in this growing local success story in order to push it beyond its current reach.

“We’re excited to sign this agreement with the LMC that sees us become Official Beer Partner of the NPFL for the next four seasons. It’s a partnership that we expect to bring excitement to Nigerian football and the fans who love the domestic game,” Maria-Maggi further said.

Since the first STAR lager beer bottle rolled out of the bottling lines in Lagos brewery in 1949 the brand has been a market leader and was listed by the African Business magazine in its 100 Most Admired African Brands in 2015. Star has put its expansive platform to good use in promoting music and youth lifestyle via projects like STAR Trek, STAR Quest and STAR Mega Jam.

The partnership between Star and Nigerian Professional Football League will run for five years, beginning from 2015/2016-football league season ending with the football league season of 2019/2020.  In addition to the duration of this great partnership, Star as a brand is optimistic in the value and significance of the partnership in positively changing the perception of the Nigerian League for the period of this partnership.