Sports Features of Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Source: Daniel Oduro

The Glo-Man United Alliance – A fascinating ‘marriage’ of two global brands!

There is often an imagery formed in the minds of people when an object or name is mentioned. It could be good or bad imagery depending on one’s experiences.

For telecommunications giants Globacom or GLO, many images are formed when their name is mentioned but one that often stands tall is their unwavering and unflinching support of sports and soccer in particular on the African continent.

GLO’s mantra of stimulating African development through sports sponsorships has reached a crescendo with their partnership with English football giants Manchester United- the team supported by Usian Bolt, the fastest man on earth and millions of people across the globe.

The Glo- Man United alliance is truly a marriage between two of the biggest corporate brands in the world.

The two brands operate in very separate terrains yet they dominate their respective line of businesses and what’s more they have decided to form a partnership comparable to none in the world.

It was a union that had been on the horizon for some time now and snippets of it were released in the media earlier this year.

When CEO/owner of telecommunications giants Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga jnr was rewarded by Manchester United in March this year it was in recognition of Dr. Adenuga’s contribution to the African game but it was also the beginning of perhaps the biggest sports partnership in the world.

Last Thursday the Telecommunication giant Globacom, officially launched its partnership with Manchester United at a flamboyant ceremony held at Movenpick Hotel in Accra.

The partnership described in plain words as a marriage between the biggest telecommunications network provider in Africa and the world’s most valuable sports brand is aimed at primarily promoting African football.

The well attended and colorful event was graced by Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel who was part of that historic treble wining Man United squad in the late 90’s.

The event also drew an impressive crowd of former athletes including former Black Stars defender Sammy Osei Kufuor who ironically was part of the Bayern Munich side which lost the UEFA Champion league finale to Man United in 1999. Glo ambassador, actor Van Vicker also led a tall list of entertainers who graced the occasion.

The event was also used to launch a new mobile football portal fully dedicated to the English giants powered by Glo.

On this website, fans will be able to read news, download pictures and icons of the club as well as buy tickets to see games and also receive live mobile alerts.

“It is a very big day in the history of our club because it offers an opportunity for even more interaction with Man United,” Schmeichel said at the launch.

“We are excited and very happy with this partnership because it is important to connect with our over 600 million supporters all over the World. “Manchester United is very proud to be a part of this and we thank all of you here in Ghana for having us.”

Ghanaian Manchester United fans who are subscribed onto the Glo network will have the opportunity to visit The Theatre of Dreams (home of Man Utd) on an all-expense paid trip through this partnership.

Glo has been at the forefront of African football development for some time now and the millions they have pumped into African football is great testimony of the company’s vision for Africa which is the possibility of every African ruling their world.

It must be stated that Globacom is the major/title sponsor of the prestigious Glo CAF Awards, the Nigerian Football Federation, the Nigerian national teams, the Ghana national teams, the Ghana Premier League, the Nigeria Sports Supporters Club and the Ghana National Supporters Club.

It is also worth mentioning that for Ghana in particular, Glo had invested millions in the Ghana Premier league and the Black Stars long before it started full and commercial operations in the oil rich Country.

Among other things, Globacom sponsors young, talented and upcoming African footballers to the prestigious Manchester United Soccer Schools to hone their skills. Globacom is also the official telecoms partner of the club in Africa.

With Adenuga’s financial backing, Globacom has emerged as one of the largest supporters of African soccer. The telecoms company has paid more than $40 million in support to the Nigerian soccer team over the last ten years.

Being a people-oriented company, Globacom strives to identify with social responsibility causes in all the markets where it operates. Although its focus at the moment includes job creation and youth empowerment, it is in the area of sports development that it has distinguished itself. Globacom is fast emerging as the biggest supporter of sports in Africa, with huge investments in football development and athletics.

Globacom has a vision to transform football in Africa to world class standards. That the Nigerian Premier League is today rated the best league in Africa is a tribute to the company’s efforts in this regard.

Globacom has since 2003 been the sponsor of the Nigerian Premier League and it has thus far spent over N4 billion in annual rights fee and promotion of the league. Following the successful renewal of the title rights fee in 2006, the annual sponsorship fee is now over N800 million payable to the Nigeria Premier League Board for the administration of the competition.

The contributions of Globacom to the upliftment of the league standard reached a milestone in 2004, when a Nigerian club, Enyimba International FC, sponsored by Globacom, won the African Champions League and successfully defended the trophy the following year. It also marked the first time in the history of the competition that a club had won the competition back-to-back. The Globacom Premier League has continued to be the breeding platform for talented Nigerian players to express their skills and attract international recognition for contracts in European and Asian clubs.

A Globacom Premier League season spans a period of 38 weeks with breaks at Christmas and mid-season. Twenty clubs compete for honours in the league with the bottom four dropping out to the Professional League while the top two earn tickets to compete in the Confederation of Africa Champions League.

The third placed team competes in the Confederation Cup. Globacom has added colour and prestige to the league with the introduction of custom made all-crystal trophy for the winner that in addition receives N5million. The prize money is being reviewed to N20million from the 2009/2010 season.

Globacom currently boasts over 20 million subscribers with operations in Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Long live African football and long live Glo mobile….