Access Bank setting the tone for corporate sports sponsorship

By Daily Sports on March 28, 2016

Views: 4,638

Come to think of it, Access Bank Plc, one of the leading banks in the country, has no doubt carved a niche for itself by being among the first four top-ranking corporate heavyweights that drive sponsorship in sports and sundry other activities. Access Bank’s rising sponsorship profile for sports, many may not have known, dates back to 2010 and the corporate citizen has maintained the notch without looking back despite the economic meltdown the nation has witnessed from time to time.   

As our ardent reader can easily testify, Sports Pulse has a tradition of beaming our searchlight on the good works of individuals and corporate bodies known for spending their hard-earned money in the sponsorship of sports. It is against this background that we decided to devote this column to Access Bank PLC this week – based solely on merit, as was the case with other individuals and corporate bodies featured here in the past.

Access Bank’s contributions to the game of football in Nigeria include the N50 million sponsorship of the Nigeria – Lesotho Nations Cup qualifier match in 2008, as well as its enduring support for the country’s Under-17 team, the Golden Eaglets that won the global championship in 2007, among others.

One of Access Bank’s unforgettable sports sponsorship drives was its collaboration with DSTv to bring the English Premier League (EPL) to Nigerians, after it emerged as the official broadcast sponsor of the world’s best football league on the global Pay TV network.

But Access Bank does not in any way restrict its sponsorship to football. Indeed, it is currently making waves as the rights owner of the Lagos City Marathon, a major event on the international

athletics calendar. The bank has earned praise for the way, in partnering with the Lagos State Government, it brought to bear its wealth of experience in corporate sponsorship to make the Lagos City Full Marathon, which was grandly held on February 6, 2016, a huge success.

It is no longer news that the 42-kilometre International Marathon had a handsome cash prize of $50,000. There were equally juicy prizes for the first 10 marathoners who crossed the finish line, while the first 20 Nigerians to cross the finish line also went home with handsome cash prizes. It would be recalled that the top 10 marathoners in the world participated in the meet which took them through major parts of Lagos State, thus positively advertising Nigeria to the rest of the world.

Explaining why Access Bank chose to do that, the bank’s very suave Executive Director, Mr. Victor Etuokwu, had said: “Marathon brings people from all walks of life together to a state and creates a platform on which the City is showcased. People see the vibrancy and the friendly nature of the City when they partake in a Marathon. While a business conference may bring in the people, Marathon does more in showcasing a City. This is why as a bank, we have decided to be part of it and also because the Athletic Federation of Nigeria and the International Association of Athletics Federation have endorsed it.”

Etuokwu revealed that the bank is in talks with other corporate organisations across all industries to partner with the bank and the Lagos State Government in hosting the event next year. That is a heartwarming revelation.

Access Bank has similarly extended its sponsorship exploits to the game of polo. Exactly a century after polo was first played in Lagos, lovers of the game were treated to the Eko Atlantic Beach Polo Tournament powered by Access Bank which held penultimate weekend on the waterfront on the Island, putting the commercial capital of the country on the global map of polo. Everyone that visited the Eko Atlantic Waterfront during the four days of the Beach Polo spectacular will not easily forget the frills and thrills of the game as witnessed during the tournament.

What next from Access Bank Plc in the area of sports sponsorship? We wait and see, even as we say kudos to this creative and patriotic financial powerhouse for fully throwing its weight behind the efforts to uplift sports in the country and create a better future the youth – as well as for all Nigerians.

***

Best wishes, Super Eagles

We wish the Super Eagles all the best as they take on the Pharaohs in Alexandria, Egypt, from 6pm on Tuesday for the remaining part of the double header AFCON qualifier.

Let’s not forget in a hurry that it was at the same venue that Enyimba International FC of Nigeria successfully overcame Ismaily of Egypt 2–1 aggregate to win the hitherto elusive CAF Champions League in 2003. I was there live to chronicle how the Peoples Elephants triumphed despite the monumental intimidation which has become a tradition with the Egyptians, be it at national or club level. The Super Eagles can soak the pressure like Enyimba did. Eagles stand the chance of being victorious. Gabon 2017, Nigeria will be there! Go Eagles, go do it!!

•Victor Enyinnaya can be reached via 08055068145 (sms only) or by e-mail via sportzvictor@yahoo.com.au

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 28, 2016

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