By Modupe Gbadeyanka
On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, history was made as Star Lager Beer announced an unprecedented partnership with five football clubs in Europe.
The clubs are Arsenal, Juventus, Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester City, having a combined history in football of 544 years.
Star became the ‘Official Beer Partner’ of the five clubs, which have a combined history of 87 domestic league titles, 13 Champions League titles and numerous European titles.
Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Franco Maria-Maggi described the partnerships as a commitment from Star, Nigeria’s foremost beer brand to bring new football experience to consumers and loyal fans of these clubs.
“They bring freshness and new levels of excitement to the established football order. We are happy to partner with these football clubs as we collectively want the same things; to excite football fans and give them memorable, unforgettable moments. It is what Star has always done and this is yet another way to demonstrate our commitment to creating exciting moments for our consumers”. Mr Maggi said.
The partnership bestows Star Lager beer rights to promote the brand’s association with Real Madrid; Arsenal; Juventus; Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to millions of fans across Nigeria and beyond, supporting its vision to embrace an unrivalled passion of football.
The partnership, first of its kind in Nigeria by a beer brewery intends to see Star Lager actively engage consumers and fans with series of cross-promotional events and communication materials designed to enhance visibility of the European giants in Nigeria.
The ground-breaking partnerships with these clubs poses an exciting bright future for football development and viewing experience in Nigeria as confirmed by the Portfolio Manager, National Premium, Nigerian Breweries, Mr Tokunbo Adodo.
He affirmed Star’s accession as “Official Beer Partner” to these five clubs, has bought into important football assets across the biggest leagues in Europe – England, Spain, Italy and France.
“The partnership is all about adding more excitement to the lives of our consumers and football lovers across the country. That’s what we have done through our various sponsorships and platforms and this is yet another step in that direction. We have some really exciting plans in the works and we will be revealing them shortly. Fans of good, exciting football are in for a lot of exciting moments in the years to come.”
The established partnership will have Star organise digital amplification of the European clubs in Nigeria, including digital promotions to drive viewership as well as providing outdoor amplification of the clubs and billboards.
Advertising budgets will benefit the domestic media, as radio, television and newspaper houses will participate in Star’s amplification of matches and extended activities with their club partners.
The partnership will give access to an archive of images and content from the respective clubs with an opportunity for Star to brand its bottles with logos of these clubs. Going forward, a bottle of Star would symbolize more than just another larger, it would mean a communion between a fan and the pride, history and colours of their favourite club side; Real Madrid, Arsenal, PSG, Manchester City and Juventus FC.
A common ground Star has with the European giants is the culture of remarkable history. Since the first STAR lager beer bottle rolled out of the Lagos brewery in 1949, Star has consistently supported football initiatives and platforms such as its highly impactful campaign to rally Nigerian football fans during the World Cup in 2014.
The Star Super Fans Show also showcased and rewarded football fans for their passion and knowledge of the game. A week ago, Star announced a landmark partnership with the local league, NPFL in a similar arrangement as the “official beer partner” of the domestic league.
English giants Arsenal Football Club has won 13 League titles in its 130-year history and is loved by many Nigerians who appreciate its easy-on-the-eye style of game possession.
Arsenal’s popularity soared in Nigeria when former captain and Olympic gold medallist, Nwankwo Kanu played with the Invincible alongside the great Thierry Henry, Patrick Viera and Robert Pires in the 2003/2004 season. Thereafter, the club’s affinity with Nigerians has continued to grow even stronger with the emergence of Alex Iwobi on the squad.
Juventus, with 32 Serie A titles, is the most successful Italian club ever. They have a rich history of achievements and a big support base that extends beyond their hometown of Turin.
A record eleventh UEFA Champions League title in 2016 ensured that Real Madrid continued its leadership as European football’s most successful club. It has rich history of signing the world’s most expensive footballers that go further to win individual prizes at the Ballon d’Or. Players like Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Luis Figo, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have added to the club’s legacy.
Manchester City has become a top name in English football over the last decade. Young Nigeria forward for the team, Kelechi Iheanacho remains a delight to watch as he finds his feet alongside Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure under the tutelage of the very successful coach, Pep Guardiola.
While PSG is the relatively youngest of the five but a top name in French football, winning the last four Ligue 1 titles as they push to become a major challenger in Europe. Despite the recent departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the presence of Thiago Silva and David Luis in defence continues to keep the capital side grounded.
Star’s partnership with Europe’s five greatest clubs may further encourage the clubs to include Nigeria in their summer pre-season tours. It is definitely an unprecedented way to launch out into the big waters by building a positive synergy between domestic and global football.