Nigeria with a GDP of $1.21 trillion has the largest economy in Africa according to figures from finance experts Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). In February the West African nation was named as Africa’s largest economy for the second year in a row. After undertaking an economic re-basing back in 2013 it is emerging as Africa’s economic powerhouse.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has decided to make its big push into the continent by holding the 2019 Middle East and Africa (MEA) Championship for the first time in a bracketed tournament format in Lagos, Nigeria.
Outside of the World Cup, this will be a rare attempt from Rugby League to hold a televised stadium event. Such a bold and ambitious plan will require the hosts Nigeria Rugby League to bring in world-class expertise.
With this in mind, Nigeria Rugby League is entering into a deal with the international sports management consultancy Ballympics.
Joern Schlimm a Managing Partner at Ballympics said:
” We are looking forward to our long term partnership with the Nigeria Rugby League Association.
Our objective is to support the development of the league, establish rugby as a number one sport
in Nigeria and create a showcase for the entire continent. We believe that the Nigeria Rugby League has an enormous potential for growth and we are delighted to be part of this journey.”
Ade Adebisi, the Vice-Chairman, and General Manager was overjoyed with the announcement and had this to express:
“This is a huge deal for International Rugby League and Nigeria, to have Ballympics involved. Ballympics have worked with clients across different sporting sectors including FIFA, Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Hong Kong Sevens and the Bundesliga.
Not only do they bring in much-needed expertise in securing sponsorship opportunities this is going to be a long-lasting relationship with a commitment to develop our new national league in an NFL style conference system with playoff finals. Backed up with experience in creating talent academies and assistance in grass root development. It is hard to process everything that’s going on at the moment with Rugby League in Nigeria.
It is by no means a one-man effort the Nigeria Rugby League board is made up of industry experts filled with youth and energy.
We have presented a positive vision for Nigeria that key figures in Nigeria have bought into.”