In a bid to reposition the Nigerian league, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has signed a 5 million-dollar sponsorship deal with GTI and Propel Sports Africa.
The stakeholders announced the agreement at a press briefing on Tuesday in Lagos as part of efforts to restructure the league.
The partnership will enable live NPFL matches powered by GTI and Propel Sports Africa and live streaming of NPFL games on Over-The-top (OTT) platform “NPFL Live.”
The dedicated streaming app will allow fans to enjoy live matches and exclusive content, while Pixellot, provider of AI-automated cameras, would deliver good viewing and broadcast quality.
Abubarkar Lawal, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of GTI, said the unveiling and signing ceremony was a reminder that God’s timing was perfect.
“If you have a dream, the first thing to do is to visualise and articulate it. God kept positioning people, positive people that we needed to make this happen,” he said.
He said at the end of the day the federal government, state governments, clubs and individual investors would benefit financially from the project.
Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Chairman IMC, said one of the biggest challenges of the league was officiating.
“The referees complained of not being paid for three years, and I asked why keep working without renumerations? Obviously, the clubs are the ones financing them.
“We want a system that will work, there were lots of problems with officiating. So, we decided to fix that by providing renumeration a day before the match day, and provide accommodation for referees.
“When GTI started paying, that week we had four away wins. We believe in this partnership; the winner of the league will get N100 million,” Elegbeleye said,
Also, Edward Simons, the President, Propel Sports Africa, said he had so much faith in the partnership.
“It’s a great day for GTI, NPFL and Propel Sports Africa. It’s a great opportunity.
“GTI has worked with passion to record a great level of success and we are glad to be partners in progress alongside the IMC. We know it’s going to be a long haul,” he said.
The Chairman of Propel Sports Africa, Basil Kabbari, stressed the need for the partnership, saying that the Nigerian sports industry was a good market.
Ex-international, Tijani Babangida, applauded the investors for giving home based players something to look forward to and for promoting the domestic league.
Nelson Ine, a director at GTI, said fans could invest in The Nigeria Football Fund (TNFF), with a minimum of N100,000 required to be a shareholder.
“In a few years’ time these fund would yield be the highest return on investment. Today Propel Sports Africa has given us an edge; without television sports is just an activity.
“Once it’s not on television it does not attract value. The NPFL is the most viable sports asset; the EPL was worth 10.6 billion pounds in 2022, anyone investing now will be happy doing so in the near future,” he said.