Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has unveiled Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, as sponsor of National Division 1 & 2 for two years.
The unveiling ceremony took place at the Unity Hall of Eko house, Victoria Island Lagos on Thursday and the two year-sponsorship deal is worth N60 million with an option to extend.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Managing Director/chief executive Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz said it is their desire to develop sports in Nigeria.
“Total will become proud sponsor of the NBBF male National Division 1&2 tournaments. For us, this sponsorship is another way of reinforcing our partnership with Nigeria and our desire to support the development of Nigerian Sports.
“As you may be aware, Total is already the title sponsor of the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations. Today, we take the bold step to sponsor Nigerian Basketball in keeping with this philosophy and ambition. By so doing, we acknowledge that we are part of the makeup of Nigeria where we have been for more than 60 years. We are only too aware that in Nigeria, sport simply means unity, friendship, solidarity and energy. We want to sustain this energy with the agreement we are signing today. We believe that this marks the start of a journey that would be great benefit to the NBBF and to our Total brand. We hope that our sponsorship would spur our Nigerian basketball teams to greater glory in both local and international campaigns.”
In his response, factional President of the NBBF, Engr Musa Kida said the partnership is a unique breakthrough for the lower leagues in the history of Nigerian Basketball.
“One of my cardinal goals and objectives as President NBBF is to take basketball to the grassroots, so that our youth and other stakeholders of the game who have been neglected for so long would have the opportunity of competing effectively right in their backyards,” Kida said
“In the past, teams were used to gathering at one location for one week under the guise of playing a league, with players and respective clubs benefitting not getting the full benefit of participating in a league. Teams in this division, which were usually less than 12 from across the country ended up playing between 5-7 games that whole year. It is against the background that the NBBF decided to formulate a new league format for the lower divisions to secure a better life for players and officials who are major actors in our quest to take basketball to the desired level.”
Kida thanked Managing Director/CEO Total and management for sponsoring National Division 1& 2 tournaments. He disclosed their intention to have 74 participating teams from all the 36 States including the FCT, Abuja in the Division 2 tournament.
Two teams each will make it from the 6 geopolitical zones, and be grouped into the Savannah and Atlantic Conference format. Four teams from both Conferences will eventually qualify to the National finals. While division 1 will have 16 teams grouped into two Conferences. It is the first time the Federation is securing sponsorship for any of its lower leagues.