The Nigeria Basketball Federation on Thursday in Lagos sealed a two-year sponsorship deal with oil and gas firm Total worth N60m.
It is the first time that an NBBF board would be securing sponsorship for the lower divisions of the country’s league.
Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz, said the sponsorship was another way of reinforcing the company’s partnership with Nigeria.
He added that after becoming the title sponsors of the Africa Cup of Nations since 2016, Total had taken “the bold step to sponsor Nigerian basketball in keeping with this philosophy and ambition.”
Terraz stated, “It’s a two-year deal and we are hopeful it will produce a lot of results in grassroots development.
“Under the sponsorship agreement, Total will become the proud sponsors of the NBBF men’s national divisions 1 and 2. For us, this sponsorship is another way of reinforcing our partnership with Nigeria and our desire to support the development of Nigerian sports.
“We acknowledge that we are part of the makeup of Nigeria, where we have been for more than 60 years. We know that in Nigeria sports simply means unity, friendship, solidarity and energy.”
NBBF president Ahmadu Musa-Kida expressed delight at the deal, saying it would help in the development of basketball at the grassroots.
“This is an epoch event in the annals of Nigerian basketball because it is the first time the federation is securing sponsorships for any of its lower leagues. Without Total’s sponsorship, it will be impossible to administer the event to enable it achieve its set objectives.”
The Total Men’s National Division 2 League will comprise 74 teams, two from each of the 36 states and Abuja. The qualifiers would move from the conference stage to the play-offs and then on to the national finals.
Teams in the division would have played about 30 matches before the end of the season, an idea which Musa-Kida says is to have more games at the grassroots level to discover and groom talents.
The Total Men’s National Division 1 League would feature the Atlantic and Savannah conferences, which would comprise about six to eight teams each.
The deal has a caveat for an extension after the first two years, Musa-Kida added.