Nigeria is not doing badly as a football playing country at the global stage considering the accolades and trophies grabbed most especially in the age grade categories. This is being further pushed with the unveiling of Higher Institutions Football League, a great idea promoted by some indigenous eggheads, championed by Sola Fijabi, Director, Pace Sports Marketing And Entertainment Limited.
In this chat with Akinwumi Dickson of brandcampaign. Com.ng, the marketing maestro reeled out the objective and mission of this novel project. Excerpts.
Brandcampaign. Com.ng Your firm in partnership with NUGA unveiled Higher Institutions Football League recently, what is the mission or objective?
Sola Fijabi :The project – Higher Institutions Football League is incubated to create an effective and sustainable talent pipeline for exciting grassroots football talents across higher institutions in Nigeria aimed at positioning the country as a global football powerhouse in the collegiate space and beyond. Also build an exciting youth platform for discerning brands to leverage.
Brandcampaign. Com.ng: Considering the very expansive nature of the country, how ready is your firm to organise and implement a hitch free event among the higher institutions?
Sola Fijabi :All hands are on deck to ensure everything goes as planned; from all forms of engagements across sectors to clear, concise execution strategy driven by a host of professional marketing agencies, NUGA and marketing communication consultants. This is why our nationally inclusive framework accommodates strategic partners and resources to execute a League of this first-of-its-kind scope and scale. We have been planning this for well over a year and the executiion will be unprecedented
Brandcampaign. Com.ng In terms of the required cost and logistics needed to activate this project, how is your level of sponsorship and marketing in order to drive it successfully
Sola Fijabi : The reception for HiFL since its launch has been overwhelmingly positive. We have smart brands in Nigeria who understand and value the immense opportunities that HiFL offers. The Pan-Nigeria activation opportunities, extended yet sustained physical and digital engagement periods with young people for about 6 months and the media potential in reach. All these are evident in the success of our various campaigns and the level of brand support.
Brandcampaign. Com.ng You are known to be a Public Relations and Reputation Management professional now delving into sports marketing and organisation, what led you into this and what is your projection?
Sola Fijabi : There is a school of thought that believe that IMC as a practice is converging. In this case, this is right. The HiFL franchise created and championed by PACE Sports & Entertainment Marketing is being activated by a collaboration of agencies with fresh ideas and competence to challenge the status quo with the objective of taking on a project such as this successfully. So far, it has been excellence all the way. The opportunities that abound in the football and youth space coupled with the prospect of contributing significantly to national development. The passion that football generates in Nigeria and its pull power combined with arguably the largest youth bulge in the world remains a strong proposition for forward-thinking corporates. Our projection is pivoted on growing HiFL into the biggest football franchise in the country before extending the proven model to other sports such as basketball, athletics, volleyball etc.
Brandcampaign. Com.ng :Do you have other plans that will further institutionalise development among Nigerian youth as well as the entire nation and how do you think Nigeria can reclaim it glory in all facets of human and institutional development.
Sola Fijabi : With entry through sports, the infrastructural development that will accompany this move will be significantly felt in football and other sports categories.
Then we consider the belief of possibilities that the execution of a scalable project as this will inspire in the youth space and beyond. Also, the deployment of this proven model and other initiatives such as the Campus Enterprise Series in collaboration with some of our partners will also be instrumental for growth.
Brandcampaign. Com.ng :Please tell us the rewards for winners in the this competition
[Solar Fijabi : Plans have been concluded to ensure academic, financial and career support for winners and outstanding talents. The winners as a matter of emergence will represent Nigeria at the next International University Sports Federation (FISU) games in Naples, Italy billed for July 2019. Outstanding players will be exposed to a network of scouts and may enjoy brand support in form of endorsements.