May 15, 2015 – Chairman of the Marketing and Sponsorship Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, High Chief Emeka Inyama has condemned reports in a section of the press loaded with what he termed unhealthy insinuations concerning the Federation’s recent kit sponsorship contract with American sportswear giants, NIKE.
“For all the efforts that the present NFF administration has been making with regards to securing corporate partners to help the development of Nigeria football, we expect support from all sections of the media.
“There has been support from large sections and we are grateful for that. But it is unfortunate that a minor section has been reporting negatively about our recent agreement with NIKE.”
Inyama insisted that global best practice was followed in all processes leading to the consummation of the agreement.
“First and foremost, it is not a five-year contract; it is a three-and-half year contract. There was no underhand dealing in the contract because NIKE is a super brand and would not even do that, and the present NFF top hierarchy will never be part of such.
“We must also ask a pertinent question: How come Adidas pulled out despite the fact that we won the FIFA U-17 World Cup (2013), Africa Cup of Nations (2013), African Youth Championship (2011), African Women Championship (2010), reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup and qualified for all FIFA competitions, including performing creditably in those competitions? This is food for thought.
Inyama added that after Adidas went out the door, some other global brands were approached but showed no interest in partnering with Nigeria football.
“Puma and Under Armour are some of the brands that did not show interest. NIKE was reluctant as well, and don’t forget that we were also negotiating from the weak position of a Federation whose flagship team had failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.
“NIKE was reluctant but after investigating thoroughly the calibre of people running the Federation presently, they consented and said these are people they trust and could do business with.”
The ranking member of the NFF Executive Committee also disclosed that Nigeria had got to a point of buying jerseys for the various National Teams.
“The President and Chairman of Marketing Committee should be commended for the efforts they made to get NIKE, which has saved the country up to $3 million in purchase of jerseys for the National Teams to take part in matches and competitions.
“It is also a white lie to say that there is no fee in the contract. There are bonuses and products, and payments that are open to negotiation when our teams do well at international tournaments. At the appropriate time, we will publish the contract agreement for all to see.”