The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and International Management Group (IMG) Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media company have signed an exclusive agreement for baskektball development in Nigeria.
The National Sports Commission (NSC), amongst others, top a list of strategic local partners present at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Abuja National Stadium on Monday.
The agreement covers the development of Nigerian Basketball, including on a professional level, for up to 20 years. Exact terms of the deal was not revealed.
“Nigeria has always had the potential to be a dominant power in basketball, one of the two great global games. But we can only reap what we sow. Today we begin investing in our long term success as a basketball power, with this step in partnership with IMG, a pioneer in world sport, bringing to bear its industry-leading expertise and strategic planning to help unlock Nigeria’s true long-term potential,” NBBF president Tijani Umar said.
Sports Minister Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said the MOU, which was signed in respect to basketball, will go a long way to enhance strong business perspective to the development of sports in Nigeria and also create an opportunity for a financially vibrant game of basketball capable of attracting sponsors.
“We could not be happier to have IMG, one of the most admired and respected companies in the world, invest its time and resources in Nigeria. We share a common vision for the sport of basketball in this country, and for the country itself, primarily based on the greatest strength Nigeria has – it’s people,” Abdullahi noted.
“So bringing IMG to the Nigeria sports market will help the development of sports and signing the MOU as we have done today in respect to basketball will create a great opportunity for the financial viability of the sports in Nigeria by attracting great sponsorship into the sports.”
IMG said its local partnership is led by Tayo Amusan, a businessman in Nigeria and a ground-breaking entrepreneur. Amusan is the owner, Chairman and Managing Director of Persianas Nigeria Limited, a luxury residential, retail, entertainment, hospitality and commercial development company.
Bobby Sharma, IMG Senior Vice President, Global Basketball & Strategic Initiatives who signed the agreement, along with Amusan, Umar, and the Minister in Abuja said. “We’re excited to join with the NBBF to develop and grow basketball in the 7th largest country in the world. We expect this collaboration will change the future of the sport in Nigeria, as well as this quickly growing region, which is already a hotbed of basketball avidity and talent.”
Mike Dolan, IMG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, “Sub-saharan Africa is one of the largest and fastest growing economic regions in the world today, led by Nigeria and its 170 million population, the largest and youngest on the continent. Nigeria is one of the great sporting nations in the world and has already produced some of the greatest athletes across a variety of sports. We believe there is an enormous appetite for basketball on the continent, and led by the economic and cultural force of Nigeria, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible.”