6th July, 2012
By Henry Ojelu
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has taken the lead towards achieving a private sector driven 18th National Sports Festival as he recently challenged the Nigerian Bottling Company and other members of Corporate Lagos to take advantage of the immense branding opportunities which the festival offers.
Fashola made the call when he received the Managing Director of Nigerian Bottling Company Limited,NBC, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, in his office at Alausa, Ikeja.
He noted that the forthcoming National Sports Festival represents an opportunity where the company can brand by putting the logo of the festival on its crown corks and provide give- away prizes under the corks.
The governor added that just as the state is about to host the 18th National Sports Festival, the private sector must see it as a task that it must drive sports to make it succeed.
While appealing for more corporate sponsorship in sports, Fashola declared: “If we must expand the opportunity for business, we must look this way. The more of the private sector operators who see the future of their businesses in sports, the better we are able to communicate”.
He said that as a government, the present administration in Lagos State is building sports facilities such as the Campos and Agege Stadia which are completed and the ones at Ifako-Ijaiye and Epe still under construction. He said such facilities would not be of much use if it cannot attract athletes and spectators, adding that businesses cannot grow with empty facilities.
He explained that by working with the Local Organising Committee and the Marketing Committee of the festival, the company can actually make Lagos feel that it hosted the festival, adding that it can produce a special edition to commemorate the event which would be on not only Coca Cola products but almost all that is made and sold in the country so that there is total ownership.
“But there is still a lot of work to be done to bring back sports to its viewership and spectatorship position because that is the only way we can expand the number of bottles you sell and the number of bottles you sell per day, per week, per month will determine how big your investment will be to expand your production capacities”.
The governor expressed delight that Lagos has been a host to Coca Cola for the past 60 years and has witnessed the growth of the company’s business, adding that government is aware of its responsibility that if it supports businesses, they will prosper and if they prosper, the government will benefit in many ways.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Nigeria Bottling Company, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, said he was at the State House, Ikeja, to express Coca Cola Group’s appreciation to Lagos for being a home to the brand in the last 60 years and the governor for providing leadership for the country.
He said that from Lagos, the Coca Cola Company has expanded to over 28 countries including Russia, adding that the company is greatly appreciative of the efforts of the state in providing the environment which has enabled the company to prosper.