The six-year journey to the Nigeria Professional Football League title for Rivers United had the backing of West Africa’s largest independent chemical as well as oil and gas engineering solutions provider, Eunisell.
For Rivers United, it has been a six-year journey, but seven years for the Eunisell brand as a sponsor in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Indeed, today’s marriage between Eunisell and Rivers United kicked off with Sharks Football Club, now defunct, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015.
At the ceremony, Eunisell Group Managing Director, Chika Ikenga, declared the brand’s readiness to stay with the club.
Sharks FC was eventually relegated, but determined to see the club make an instant return to the top flight, Eunisell chose to extend its sponsorship of the team in the second tier league.
From Sharks to Rivers United
In February 2016, Governor Nyesom Wike, of Rivers State, decided to merge relegated Sharks and Dolphins, also owned by the State.
The decision produced a new team, Rivers United and Eunisell remained as sponsor of the new team.
For Eunisell, sponsoring Rivers United is a strategy to be part of their history and ultimate success.
Record Longest Running Sponsorship
By extending its sponsorship from Sharks to the newly formed Rivers United, in 2016, Eunisell displayed readiness to lead a campaign for Nigerian brands to change the NPFL narrative.
Since 2016 Eunisell has been on the shirt of the club as sponsor, a feat that makes it the longest running sponsorship in the NPFL. Convinced Rivers United is the right partner for a long time sponsorship, Eunisell stayed with the club, despite its inability to win a trophy.
Rivers United came close in its first season but lost the title to Enugu Rangers.
In appreciation of the club’s impressive campaign in its first season in 2016, Eunisell announced a N10,000,000 bonus.
This was the first by any club sponsor in the NPFL.
To underscore his commitment to the team, Ikenga led a high powered Eunisell team to Sagamu to motivate the players at a time the club was having a poor run, during the 2017 season.
The presence of the Eunisell team resulted in a 3-1 away win against home side, Remo Stars.
Rivers United finished on 15th position; two points above the drop zone, but the brand remained convinced Rivers United will emerge champions of Nigeria one day.
To further confirm its determination to make the club a model in the league, Eunisell introduced the Eunisell Rivers United Day.
Organized in Port-Harcourt, it was conceived to bring the Rivers United brand closer to the fans.
2021/22: Champions At Last
From inception of Eunisell’s sponsorship of Rivers United, Ikenga had reiterated the brand’s desire to see the club emerge champions. The clarion call from Eunisell has always been one of the brand’s loyalty to Rivers United whether they fall or rise and irrespective of the economic situation in Nigeria.
Rivers United started this season in tremendous form and finished as mid-season champions.
As a sign of its dominance, the club set a 12-match unbeaten run and even a 10-point gap ahead of its closest rival, Plateau United.
Delightfully, the club claimed the title with three matches to the end of the season.
Eunisell is proud to be part of Rivers United’s history, success and transformation from a new club, in 2016, to a Nigerian powerhouse, in 2022.
Most expensive EPL deals so far this summer
Premier League clubs aren’t messing around this summer with a host of big-money deals done already.
Manchester City and Liverpool dominated the top-flight last season and have wasted no time in bolstering their all-star attacking ranks in the transfer market.
City confirmed their stunning deal for superstar Erling Haaland early on in the summer before Liverpool responded by splashing out the biggest fee of the window so far on Darwin Nunez.
Tottenham have secured the second most expensive deal of the market by shelling out £60million on Everton’s Richarlison. But not far behind them is Chelsea after they confirmed the signing of Raheem Sterling from City in a deal worth £50m.
Arsenal have also spent big on a former City player in Gabriel Jesus while Pep Guardiola has used that money to bring in Kalvin Phillips from Leeds.
There have been plenty of other top transfers confirmed in the Premier League with West Ham and Aston Villa also opening their chequebooks.
And we’ve still got plenty of time for more eye-catching deals to be done.
But who makes up the current top ten of the priciest Premier League transfers in the summer of 2022? talkSPORT has the full rundown,