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ELP: Access Bank keys to sponsorship, partners Dstv

Princewill Ekwujuru
Sponsorship as the word connotes, is a tool employed by companies  to achieve a desired result.  Sponsorships on its own has its ingredients, it has a way of robbing off on a brand that keys to it. Overtime, events sponsorship has become major criteria with which brands target the heart of existing and prospective customers.|

For this, reasons have been advanced why companies entering  into sponsorship drive, which excuses are  to increase brand awareness, establish, change or strengthen brand image or loyalty.

This explains why for many years companies fall over themselves to sponsor major events like football fiestas, awards, lectures, musical concerts, cultural festivals and carnivals.

In Nigeria today, top companies see sponsorship as a mechanism to drive their brands. The story of some beverage companies, and Telecommunication companies becoming the official drink and telecommunication provider for the 2010 world cup and the Nigeria premier league respectively explains the rational behind sponsorships.
Beyond sports, brands that have both the global and local appeal have also began to invest in the sponsorship of cultural activities. While sports appeals to elites, cultural activities, carnivals are used to connect the grassroot.
In what seems like a response to this global trend, Access Bank is collaborating with Dstv to bring the European Premier League (EPL) to Nigerians.

A brand Analyst, had once said that with sponsorship, sponsoring brands are exposed to many potential consumers and possible trade partners.

Accordingly , a brand that key to an activity that involves it’s target audience is likely to leverage on such sponsorship to win consumers loyalty.

He also said that if  a brand supports the youth market; it is natural for it to attract many football enthusiasts, he noted.

In as much successfully creating huge affinity between brand Access Bank and its teeming Nigerian public via sponsorship of UEFA competitions broadcast on HiTV last season, Access Bank has once again been named the official broadcast sponsor of the English Premier League (EPL) on global PayTV network, DStv for the 2010/2011 season.

It would be recalled that last season Access Bank accepted the sponsorship of the broadcast of UEFA competitions to the Nigerian public. That partnership, which still continues in 2010/2011 season, follows HiTV, an indigenous PayTV operator’s acquisition of the broadcast right for UEFA competitions for the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons.

Therefore, in continuation of successful outing with the UEFA competitions, the football loving brand, Access Bank has pitched its tents with the current right owner of the EPL in the Nigeria territory to ensure that the best followed football show across the globe is aired to Nigerian public this season.

Highly placed sources in the bank who disclosed the bank next move on sponsorship to our correspondent said Access Bank is the broadcast sponsor of EPL on DStv that I can assure you,” he emphasised.

The deal according to those in the know has received the blessings of the board and the top echelon of the bank.
“We can assure our teeming customers and prospective customers what the bank is doing with the PayTV has official seal of all relevant authorities and we do rather not talk about what transpired between us and the last owners of the properties, just that for us business must go on and we understand that the passion of the average Nigerian for football, particularly EPL is to say the least overwhelming.”

This partnership offers the brand flexible opportunity to bring the game to a broad spectrum of football enthusiasts in Nigeria. Live matches as well as comprehensive highlights and delayed match coverage will be available on the SuperSport 3N and other SuperSport platforms.

However, the details of the deal is still sketchy as at press time but an official announcement is underway in a yet to be disclosed date for media briefing but a source added that the deal between Access Bank and DStv is sealed.

Access Bank Plc says its support for sports in Nigeria is motivated by the significant contribution the game has made in fostering national unity and positively projecting the country’s image internationally. The bank’s contribution to the game include N50million  sponsorship of the Nigeria _ Lesotho Nations Cup Qualifying match in 2008, support for the nation’s under 17 team that won global championship in 2007 among others.


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