By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
What a historic day in Lagos on Tuesday, as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and GAC Motors signed a partnership agreement that had all the components of a groundbreaking relationship.
The union conferred on GAC Motor the title of Official Automobile Partners of Nigeria Football Federation.
The momentous signing ceremony at the GAC Headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos marked the first time Nigeria’s football governing body was having a remarkable partnership with an automobile company, and both the NFF and the fastest-growing automobile company in the country were delighted with the consummation of the union.
“We are thrilled to extend our partnerships with GAC as our exclusive automobile partner,” said NFF President, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, as he exchanged mementos with Chief Diana Chen, Chairman of CIG Motors (authorized distributors of GAC Motor in Africa). “This union moves us forward in our determination to become a self-funding Football Federation. We are happy to be partners with GAC because it is a fast-growing organization with a lot of qualitative and farsighted persons, just like the NFF. After our long and hard deliberations, NFF is convinced that GAC is our ideal partner, because of its long-standing history of premium partnerships and support tied to youth development in Nigeria.
“With its involvement in the Lagos City Marathon, Asaba Marathon, the AMVCA, The Voice and much more, this partnership is a pivotal step towards deepening an already-existing relationship between the brand and the sports industry.”
In her own remarks, Chief Chen said: “Football has always been a reckoning power for uniting all interests and differences of Nigerians, over time, bringing together the old and the young from all walks of life – united in the spirit of true sportsmanship that knows no tribe, gender or religion. Football will always have a special place in the hearts of Nigerians because of the pride and sense of honour that it brings, and the spirit of unity that it fosters, and these matters to us too as a company operating in this country.
“Our company and Nigeria football share the vision of a great future.”
It is a three –year agreement in the first instance, but Pinnick said: “It is renewable and we believe that we are in this relationship for the long haul.” GAC Motor, which has been operating in Nigeria since 2014, has been at the forefront of championing the cause for the sports and entertainment industries, providing opportunities and supporting the dreams of Nigerians.
Deputy Chairman of the House of Reps’ Committee on Sports, Hon. Afolabi Olalekan Rasheed, reiterated that football is big business globally and it was important that big business continues to get very much involved with the game in Nigeria, and hailed GAC Motor for the gesture to Nigeria football, describing football as the greatest unifying factor in the country. Jubril Arogundade, General Manager (Commerical) of CIG Motors said the company was proud of the partnership as sports partnership was a culture of the company.
As part of the terms of the agreement, GAC Motor will present official cars to the President of NFF, General Secretary, the National Technical Director and the Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, as well as a fully –equipped ambulance and a mini-bus in the first instance.
Also present at the ceremony were 1st Vice President of the NFF, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi; NFF Executive Committee members Aisha Falode and Ganiyu Majekodunmi; NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi; NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire; NFF’s Head of Marketing, Alizor Chuks; former Nigeria international and personal assistant to NFF President, Nasiru Jibril and Miss Queen Otarakpo of the NFF Legal Unit.
Super Eagles’ players Paul Onuachu and Samuel Chukwueze also graced the occasion.