10 Classic Football Tournaments in Nigeria – Attracts Large Audiences and Merger Sponsorship

It ‘s not absolutely true that football lovers in Nigeria do not watch local matches. There’s no denying the fact that they may have real issues with Nigeria league and the Federations cup. The reasons for their drawback from these events is something I’ve dealt with in my previous posts.

There are some classic football tournaments that pull so much crowd, while other get all the media attention that made them so popular in and outside the country.

When I was planning to write this article, I considered if I should focus more on the superb organizations of some  of these tournaments with the title: “Top Class Football Tournaments in Nigeria” or if I should focus on the follower-ship and media attention they get as “Most Popular Football Tournaments in Nigeria.” Well, I decided to consider the tournaments from these two angles – organization and follower-ship. I will also look at the purpose that made them so attractive to sponsors.

Super Four:
Think of Super Bowl when you try to visualize the Super Four. Though, without all the razzmatazz and merger commercial benefits. Super is a tournament of champions organized by League Management Company (LMC).

The Super Four Served as preparation tournament for teams that will represent the country in the CAF Champions league and CAF Confederations cup.

In 2015, the tournament was temporarily expanded to Super Six to include U20 and U23 national teams  that were also preparing for Africa Youth Championship and FIFA World cup respectively.

Normally, winners of Nigeria Professional Football League, the runners up; then winners of the Federations cup and the runners up are the teams qualified to play in the Super Four tournament.

The tournament is rotated among states. In fact,  the hosting right is bidded by the states, because of its popularity and the kind of media attention it draws to the host city. The tournament records an average cumulative attendance of over a million spectators (depending on the host city).

Mock Nations Cup:
“The Ajegunle Classico” is perhaps the longest grassroots tournament privately organized by an ex-naval officer Lawrence Alabrah.  The Mock Nations Cup tournament was stirred by the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations that was hosted and won by Nigeria.

The tournament ehich served as a kind of football festival in Ajegunle, parades both old and the new raving stars in the country. It has featured almost all the big stars you can think of: Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amunike, Sunday Oliseh, Henry Nwosu, Jonathan Akpoberie, Taria Okorowanta, Ifeanyi Udeze and more recently; Odion Ighalo, Isaac Success…  The tournament alsoi served as a breeding ground for football talent. The matches have led to the discovery of many players for the national team; chief of them was Emmanuel Amunike and Sunday Oliseh.

The tournament is permanently hosted at the Navy barrack pitch Marine Beach Road Ajegunle. The barrack have become so popular for the sake of this tournament that attracted over 30, 000 spectators in one match. Off course companies like 7Up, Nigeria Breweries, Cowbell and the Lagos state government have been the co-sponsors of the tournament.

Copa Lagos Beach Soccer:
This is more than just a football tournament. Copa Lagos beach soccer brings music, Dj’s, Comedians, Fashion show and much more to its over 80, 000 holiday makers that throng the usually three days tournament.

Copa Lagos Venue, Eko Atlantic Beach becomes the center of attraction for the whole world as national teams and international clubs from Europe and America are invited to participate in the tourney.

Copa Lagos organized by Kinetics Sport Marketing Agency have succeeded in attracting several sponsors: Hyundai, 1960Bet, Pepsi, NairaBet, SuperSports, FCMB, Lagos State government as co-sponsors of the world class tournament.

Copa Lagos have so exposed the tourism potentials of Lagos state and recently, the sity has won the right to host CAF Africa Beach Nations cup slated for Deember 2016.

NNPC/Shell Cup:
It’s a football festival that showcase some of the best youth football in the country. NNPC/Shell exclusively sponsored Inter-Secondary Schools Football Championship set the host cities of the final stages agog.

Over 200 players and buses load with student supporters of the participating schools. Will have the host manage over and extra 25, 000 teenagers who moved  into the city for the tournament.

The tournament primary aim is to attract back young people that dropped out of school for one reason or another. It also served as a place of talent discovery. The tournament have produced many players for the national U16 team and so pro clubs in Nigeria.

The tournament organized by School Sports Federation of Nigeria in-conjunction with NNPC/ Shell, usually rotate the hosting of the final stages of the biennial Inter-Secondary school Championship.

Channels National Kids Cup:
The cadet tournament , with overblown media hypes from Channels Tv and its media fraternity, has become a family stable. Indeed, a whole village stay glued to their television set to watch the kids from their community school perform at the Channels national kids cup final stages at  Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos.

Most of the tournament videos uploaded on YouTube have recorded  over 10 million cumulative page views. That shows you how the tournament has become so popular in the country and beyond.

The tournament is strictly for pupils currently in Primary school and not above 13 years of age. The tournament with the mantra “Catching them Young” is aimed at discovering young talents and promoting the game of football at the grassroots.

It’s the corporate social responsibility program of Channels Television and supported by  the Lagos state football Association (LSFA).

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