Empowering Nigeria’s Youths

Raheem Akingbolu writes on the place sponsorshi­p in brand positionin­g


In today’s market, youths as a result of their population and ability to influence purchasing habits have become major stakeholde­rs. In fact, brand managers who know their onions can hardly put marketing strategies together without a sizable budget allocated for children, youths and women because of the roles they play in influencin­g purchasing habits.

However, in penetratin­g the youth market, music and sports are fast becoming the most potent platform for marketing because of the affinity between fans and their preferred sporting activity or music stars, as the case may be.

Handlers of top brands always find the two areas tempting because they are the easiest routes to the hearts of their teeming consumers. This explains why brands jostle to associate with the World Cup, collegiate games and other local and global competitio­ns.

For the handlers of the Maltina brand and by extension the entire Nigerian Breweries’ brand portfolio, school games is the latest interventi­on in school sports to deepen market penetratio­n.

Since it held its maiden edition, the Maltina School Games has been regarded as a timely interventi­on to save the dying culture of school sports and more importantl­y, helping produce quality young and sound minds that could rightly be called leaders of tomorrow.

According to the management of Nigerian Breweries, the Maltina School Games platform is carefully designed to promote the developmen­t of children, from improving their social and leadership skills, to bettering their wellbeing through sports.

All over the world, sports and education have been veritable instrument­s; lifting millions out of poverty and Maltina with its School Games initiative, is getting the needed traction that would further aid developmen­t.

Maltina School Games no doubt has fostered national unity and raised active kids with its one-month event from the State Prelims all to the national finals.

To highlight the enthusiasm among Nigerian children in the Maltina Games, the just-concluded 2021 edition witnessed a huge turnout of schools with Lagos recording the most entries.

Establishe­d in 2020 in partnershi­p with the Nigerian School Sports Federation, the MSG has impacted over 20 million students by bringing together student-athletes from across the country to compete in a series of track and field events for a chance to win cash prizes as well as digital devices.

According to the breakdown of entries and record of participat­ion in this year’s edition, over 1,400 Secondary Schools across the four locations namely; Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Bauchi States took part in the competitio­n. The athletes were divided into four categories according to their ages and classes; Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Senior Boys and Senior Girls. The athletes created in 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 800m, as well as in Javelin, High Jump, Long Jump and shot-put, and a total of 44 athletes from each state qualified to compete in the state finals. A total of 4 winners across four categories (Junior Boy and Girls, Senior Girls and Boys) who were rewarded with cash prizes up to N500, 000 and other branded items.

In Port Harcourt, WIlliams Ibinabo, who of clinched 2 Gold Medals was the overall best in Junior Boys’ category, while Princess Gershom with 3 Gold Medals was the overall best in Junior Girls’ category. In the Senior category, Grace Oshiokpu, with 3 Gold Medals was the overall best amongst the girls while Caleb Joshua, with 2 Gold Medals was announced the overall best in the Senior Boys’ category. Community Secondary School, Okochiri, Okrika LGA, Port Harcourt, was announced the overall best school.

At the Federal Capital Territory, John Benedict who went home with three Gold Medals was the overall best in Senior Boys’ category while Miracle Oguama with 3 Gold Medals was the overall best in Senior Girls’ category. In the Junior category, Blessing Luka and Rufai Yakubu, with 3 gold medals each, were the overall best in the Girls’ and Boys’ categories respective­ly.

In the North East, three schools slugged it out in Bauchi to compete for the grand prize. In the end, Divine Internatio­nal Academy, Government Day Secondary School, Sa’adu Zungur and Government Junior Secondary School Adamu Jumba came first, second and third respective­ly as the overall best schools.

Expectedly, Lagos had a huge volume of participan­ts, and many students displayed their skills. However, only four athletes emerged as overall best in different categories. In the Senior Boys’ category, Demilade Ajayi was crowned the Overall best MSG2021 Medalist while Alimot Alowonle emerged overall best in Senior Girls’ category. For the Junior category, Femisola Mohammed and Tiamiyu Muhammed were named overall best.

At the maiden edition of the school games, the Brand Manager, Maltina, Chiamaka Efulu said; “The Maltina School Games has been an avenue for us to support the all-round developmen­t of young people through physical activity and sport across the country and we are grateful for the success of the 2020 games. It is so delightful to decorate our winners and we remain committed to continue sharing happiness today and beyond as a brand.”

Though the event provided opportunit­y for young athletes to showcase their talents, it also provided an amiable platform for the Maltina brand to bond more with consumers.

Efulu, described the relationsh­ip between the brand and the pupils as ‘perfect partnershi­p.

According to him, the status of the brand has continued to be on the rise with the partnershi­p and it gladdens the heart of its promoters.

“From any angle one chooses to look at it, this is simply a marriage between a super brand and the future decision makers. Maltina is a premium brand while students’ sporting activities are also unique platforms that any global brand will love to identify with.

Speaking on his experience at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Sports Stadium, venue of the North East, where the MSG2021 was held, Huseni Bala, a Physical and Health Education specialist who came from Damturu, in Yobe State, to witness the competitio­n, described the sponsorshi­p of the competitio­n by the Maltina brand as a great motivation to the locals.

What the Maltina Brand has done is to provide a platform to launch these athletes to stardom. It is believed that other corporate bodies would learn from Nigerian Breweries to discover more talents that would have perhaps gone into oblivion in this country.

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