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Globacom boosts Nigerian athletics

Globacom boosts Nigerian athletics Yomi Omogbeja (29/06/2007)

Nigerian telecommunication company, Globacom Limited, has lifted the dying sport of Athletics in Nigeria with a $2million sponsorship of the Lagos International Half marathon.

Globacom Limited took over the sponsorship of the annual event, now in it's 6th year, from a rival telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria Limited, that had bankrolled the event for the past five years.

The event, now re-christened 'Globacom International Half Marathon' for the next five years, will take place in Lagos in early December, but will be preceded by six regional legs in selected Nigerian cities at dates yet to be announced.

Globacom's Executive Director, Marketing Communications, Okon Iyanam, told reporters at the cheque presentation that the company has deliberately invested heavily in sports because of its potentials to provide opportunities for people to earn a living.

He said: "We are aware that sports has tremendous potential to positively affect Nigeria's social and economic development, not only for its natural tendency to foster mutual understanding and conviviality among and between different sectors of society, but also for the economic spin-offs including new jobs which investment in sports, creates.

"Marathon is a mass-participation sport, with professional athletes competing alongside amateurs.

"In marathon, professional athletes run alongside company executives of blue chip companies, street traders, high school students, newspaper vendors and even the unemployed. There is no limit in the number of participants," he added.

Athletics revival

For the officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), this deal could not have come at the right time as the sport is virtually dying in the country.

AFN president Violet Odogwu-Nwajei said: "We are extremely happy today because the consummation of this relationship is the best accomplishment of any AFN board since inception.

"The five-year contract signed with the former sponsors five years ago expired with the last Marathon, and since Globacom offered more money it was quite natural the AFN flows with Globacom.

"We have literally been pestering Globacom, to sponsor athletics, but today I can tell you that we are going into partnership, which will revive the flagship our local athletics competition, which is the classic."

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Related links

International Amateur Athletics Federation

African Athletics Confederation

Athletics Federation of Nigeria

Globacom Limited


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Last updated: 16-Aug-2007 5:32 PM

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