Premium lager, Hero, has entered a partnership with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to further promote the game of football in Nigeria. Known as the preferred lager in the South-East and many parts of the country, Hero is a product of International Breweries Plc who are a proud part of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer with over 400 beer brands.
Fan favourites such as Enyimba Football Club of Aba, Heartland FC of Owerri, Rangers United, Ifeanyi Uba FC, Abia FC, Rivers United, and other elite clubs in the east will enjoy the compliments of being officially sponsored by the premium lager.
This partnership with the NPFL is coming at a time when many clubs are struggling to stay afloat not just in the Nigerian Premier League as a result of poor funding.
Speaking to the media at a press conference held on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, to announce the partnership, Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc, Tolulope Adedeji explained that as a culturally-inclined brand that always has the welfare of the people at the heart of its campaigns and initiatives, Hero seeks to elevate the status of the round leather game in Nigeria.
According to Adedeji, “Football is a game that brings people together no matter who they are or where they are located. In a football game, people celebrate as one and they share the win or loss of their team as one, and in this sense Hero Lager is much like the game of football because it unites people. Now that Hero lager is stepping up to promote domestic football, we should expect a lot more development in this area. Our ambition is to see our local players get more visibility, career development and love of our people”
Marketing Manager, Hero, Margaret Igabali added that the “These clubs bring joy to many Nigerians across the country and should be supported just the way foreign brands support foreign clubs. Football teams go beyond the game, they are traditions, and we are happy to be the official sponsors of these great football traditions”
Also speaking at the media parley, the President, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, said “We are excited to be here once again. This week is going to be a very busy week for Nigerian football. We have several contractual agreements to sign not just this one with Hero. I will like to call on Hero and indeed the parent company, International Breweries Plc to have a bigger budget for football. It is never enough. We want to thank International Breweries for what they have done with their other brands that have been supporting sports.”
Some football icons were invited on stage as panellists to discuss pertinent issues affecting the game of football. Among these individuals were 1st Vice President, NFF, Chief Seyi Akinwumi, President, African Sports Journalists, Mitchel Obi, Mallam Shehu Dikko, former Super Eagles player, Julius Aghahowa, and sports legend, Godwin Enakhena.
The signing ceremony saw representatives of the five clubs in the South East sign the contract amidst cheers from the audience who witnessed the dawn of a new day for Nigerian football.
The unveiling had an on-air-personality (OAP), Yaw, as the compere of the day, as he also made some sporty jokes that cracked the ribs of the audience at the venue.
The sponsorship deal between Hero and the South Eastern football clubs will directly benefit the clubs, the NPFL, the players, and indirectly benefit the fans, the club’s communities as their clubs can now focus on winning the league for them. The sponsorship contract takes immediate effect.