Nairametrics| The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has signed a deal with Aiteo resources whereby the company will foot the salaries of all Eagles coaches. The five-year deal, totals N2.5 billion naira and has an option of a one year extension. While the figure may seem large, the benefits accruing to the company outweigh it. This is the third mega deal signed by the Amaju Pinnick administration. The NFF in September 2015, had signed a deal with Zenith bank on youth development.
The mere mention of the deal in the media has introduced Aiteo to the consciousness of Nigerians, many whom have never heard of the company before. The deal also serves as a form of image laundering for the company which has been involved in several controversies. The most recent being under delivery of crude oil swaps to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The NNPC closed the case against the company when it agreed to pay $202 million.
In return for the sponsorship, Aiteo has the right to use images of all national football teams in their commercials. The Nigerian national football teams include the Super Eagles, Eaglets, Super Falcons and Falconets. These teams will take part in several continental and international competitions. The most prominent being the World Cup and the Summer Olympics. In the next five years, one edition of the Olympics will take place. The World Cup will also take place in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
Though the national teams qualifying is not certain, their participation in any of these events, will draw both global and national attention . Images of the team will be viewed by millions of people across the globe, Months after the events would have been concluded. This spotlight also draws attention to Aiteo. The firm would have spent millions of dollars, if it had undergone a public relations campaign on its own around the world.
The partnership with Aiteo will enable the coaches to focus on their jobs, and reduce unnecessary friction. Unpaid salaries have been a common feature with coaches of the national team. One of the ex coaches Amodu Shaibu, died while some of his arrears were unpaid. Beyond this, the NFF must increase its transparency by publishing audited accounts.