BGI Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) on Wednesday to become the title sponsor of the Ethiopia Premier League. The announcement was made during a press conference held at Elilly International Hotel.
According to the agreement signed by the two parties, the beer makers will sponsor the league for the next 2 years under their Castle Beer brand. The deal is reportedly worth 7 million birr ($350, 000) per year and will see the country’s top flight football officially be named as the Castle Ethiopia Premier League.
BGI Ethiopia marketing director Esayas Hadera and EFF President Juneydi Basha signed the MOU representing their respective parties.
After the signing ceremony, President of the Football Federation, Juneydi Basha, stated his belief that the agreement will help strengthen the financial power of the football governing body.
“We believe that the federation needs to be financially strong to successfully assist in the development of the country’s football and to increase its competitiveness in the global market. The deal we signed with BGI Ethiopia Today is part of this initiative. The main purpose of this sponsorship is to assist us financially in the different aspects of the league, from the scheduling process to the prize money given to clubs based on their merit,” the President said.
“Many questions can and will be raised around the sponsorship agreement, especially on the financial details. The deal is relatively new to our country and the questions will be addressed progressively. The basic thing is that such a sponsorship is commenced in our country. We will continuously work to fill gaps and improve our performance.”
Esayas Hadera, marketing manager of BGI Ethiopia, expressed his happiness that his company managed to seal this important deal and said that the development of the brand of the league will assist in the growth of football in Ethiopia.
“When companies invest in Ethiopia, the benefit goes beyond creating employment and generating tax income to the government. In the developed world, different corporations sponsor sporting events in their country. In sponsoring the Premier League, we hope to help in the development of football in Ethiopia. We want small children to want to become a football player, just like they want to be a Doctor or a Pilot.”
According to Soccer Ethiopia, this is the second time that the Federation has managed to secure a title sponsor for the League. In 2007/08 season, the league was sponsored by Midrok Investment Group for 1.5 Million Birr ($100k in the year’s exchange rate) and subsequently renamed The Midrok Millennium Ethiopian Premier League. Also, in the 2012/13 season, the league was named in honor of the late former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi despite no financial gains.
This article first appeared HERE