The Nigeria Football Federation and sportswear company, Nike, on Tuesday in Asaba, Delta State, signed a new partnership agreement that officials from both organisations termed “dawn of a new era.”
American kit company Nike had teamed up with the NFFin April 2015 following the departure of another global brand, but Tuesday’s contract is seen by both parties as the real deal. The agreement is for four years at the first instance, with an automatic renewal clause that will take the marriage to the end of the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals.
“We need to know where we are coming from to be able to appreciate where we are now. A few months after we came on board for our first term in office, I was told that we needed to buy jerseys for the national team to play a football match. That was how bad it was, because the kit sponsor at that time terminated the contract.
“So, I made contacts with some highly connected persons and worked hard to convince Nike to come on board. We were coming from a weak position but they made the agreement flexible for us. Today, we are happy we teamed up with Nike because after we qualified and participated at the World Cup in Russia, the company was the one chasing us for a new improved contract,” President of NFF, Amaju Pinnick, said at the contract-signing ceremony inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium.
Chairman of the NFF Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee, Shehu Dikko, who is also the NFF 2nd vice president, said Nike’s faith in Nigerian football and its encouragement all the way has been heartwarming.
“They never stopped believing in us and in our teams, and after they conducted their due diligence on everyone involved in the running of the NFF, they were very eager to sign this new deal as far back as when we returned from the World Cup in Russia. But we kept telling them to give us some time.
“We are very happy because this new agreement comes with good money on annual basis, more supplies, improved qualification bonus for our teams, door-to-door delivery of kits, royalty for the NFF on jerseys sold and it has now been expanded to include our women national teams.”