Nike-produced Nigeria world cup-soccer jerseys 2002
Nike-produced Nigeria world cup-soccer jerseys 2002

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has signed a new kit deal with American sportswear manufacturer, Nike, four months after its partnership deal with Adidas ended without renewal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nike will design and supply football kits (wears) for both the male and female national football teams at all levels from April 1, 2015 to 2018.

Announcing the breakthrough, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, described the kit deal as the beginning of new better things for Nigerian football. “I am thoroughly convinced that this agreement is the beginning of good and great things to happen to Nigeria football with regards to sponsorship deals,” Pinnick declared.

He predicted that Nike’s second sponsorship of Nigeria would lead to greater glory than the previous spell in the 1990s which culminated in Nigeria’s first-ever Olympics football gold (1996) triumph and reaching the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup (1998). “I have no doubts whatsoever that this second coming of Nike into Nigeria football will bring even more joyous moments with plenty of laurels for the national teams. Nigeria football has excellent potential all around and a top global brand like Nike will help to spur the processes that the present NFF administration has put in place to drive our game to the next level,” he said.

Adidas jersey won by victorious Super Eagles during 2013 AFCON triumph in South-Africa
Adidas jersey won by victorious Super Eagles during 2013 AFCON triumph in South-Africa

Laurent Payre, General Manager of Nike was also optimistic that the partnership deal would spring mutual benefits to both parties. “We are very pleased to partner with the Nigeria Football Federation, one of Africa’s premier teams. The passion for football in Nigeria is renowned and Nike is committed to supporting and advancing the game at all levels through inspiration and innovation for young men and women,” he said.

The new kit would be unveiled by Nigeria’s under-20 team, the Flying Eagles at the FIFA U-20 football world cup in New Zealand from May 31.

It would be recalled that Adidas wrote to the NFF last August disclosing its decision not to renew the kitting contract with the Nigerian national teams at its expiration on December 31, 2014. The German sports kit manufacturer in a letter dated August 12, 2014 and signed by the VP Global Sports Marketing Football, Claus-Peter Mayer and the Marketing Manager, Federations and Leagues, Kai-Philipp Stief, informed NFF thus: “Adidas has conducted an analysis of its football partnerships and related businesses. Based on this evaluation and in combination with the recent correspondence between the parties, we regret to inform that Adidas has decided not to extend its partnership with the Nigeria Football Federation as per the end of the Agreement (i.e 31 December 2014).”

However, the management of Adidas explained that the company will continue to fulfil its obligations under the agreement as previously communicated and requested the NFF to do the same for the remainder of the contract period, including the obligation to share any third party offer pursuant to Adidas’ right of first refusal.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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