The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has turned down a sponsorship proposal from Chinese company StarTimes as it announced that the 2023/24 season of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) will kick off on September 30, 2023.
The league has suffered three postponements following controversy around sponsorship, and in addressing the concerns, the NPL, in a letter dated Monday, September 25, signed by Davidson Owumi, the Chief Operating Officer, to the club owners, confirmed that it rejected a 10-year contract from StarTimes.
“Starting with our marketing activities, it has to be noted that the offer from StarTimes has been adequately attended to and exhausted,” the letter read. “Noteworthy is their proposal for a 10-year partnership, which is not obtainable in sports marketing anywhere in the world. Although we have also made a counteroffer for five years, 10 years will mean we are locking up our asset for that duration of time, we are still hopeful, that they, or other prospective partners will still show up since talks are ongoing, any success achieved will enlarge the economic frontiers of our league and by extension the clubs, as we progress.”
Another highlight of the letter to the clubs is the payment of start-off grants of a total of N200m to the 20 clubs. “The 20 clubs will, as was done last season receive a take-off grant of N10million each to smoothen your operations as the season starts. “We are therefore expecting the clubs to as a matter of urgency forward their respective account details to the NPFL Secretariat for the transfer of the said amount as the season is set to commence on Saturday, September 30, 2023,” Owumi stated.
On the prize money, the letter read: “After due deliberations by the Chairman and our Strategic Partners, it was agreed that the prize money, since that is what connotes the true value of the league, be reviewed upwards to N150million.”