By Ayomide Oriade
Zenith Bank and the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) on Tuesday signed a three-year deal worth N90 million to sponsor the female national league for three years. The annual partnership was worth N20 million in the 2012/2013, while the new deal would be subjected to a yearly review.
This agreement put an end to the financial clog which has hampered the commencement of the female basketball season. The 2013/2014 season is scheduled to begin in Abuja from March 21 and 25. The league comprises 16 teams with the first set of matches being played in Abuja while the second phase will hold in Kwara. The best eight teams will qualify for the final playoffs scheduled for Lagos for the emergence of the overall winner.
Emefiele, who was represented by Marcel Okeke, said the decision to increase the sponsorship fees was based on the effective management of league.“The bank is happy with the federation and how the league is being run. The new deal will be reviewed upwards yearly so that the NBBF will receive more money, that is, N25 million, N30 million and N35 million respectively in the next three years.”
On his part, the NBBF President, Tijani Umar, lauded the bank for efforts commitment to the sponsorship of the league for another three years. “We are happy about this development; it is a good sign for our basketball, most importantly, the league which produces our female players. It used to be a yearly deal, but we are happy to have a three-year partnership with our sponsors, Zenith Bank. It is their 10th year of being with us, it is also a clear indication that they want to do more for our league,’’ he said.