The Nigeria Football Federation on Monday in Lagos launched a short code – *1945# – which will be used for all campaigns that are geared towards Nigeria’s preparation and participation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.
NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko, who is also Chairman of Marketing, Sponsorship and Television Advisory Committee, disclosed that the shortcode would be available for use by all NFF partners, sponsors and suppliers, in the process also revealing an ‘Official Supporter’ program into which corporate concerns not presently in relationship with the NFF can lodge to be part of Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup excitement train.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick and 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi also spoke at the event, just as STA’s Managing Director Biodun Jagun and a clutch of NFF’s current partners, including AITEO Group, Zenith Bank and TGI Group. Super Eagles’ stars Odion Ighalo and Ikechukwu Ezenwa were present, as well as former Eagles’ skipper Mutiu Adepoju – one of 16 players to have scored for Nigeria in five previous FIFA World Cup outings.
In explaining the idea behind the shortcode, Mr Biodun Jagun, Managing Director, Secure and Trusted Alliance Services Limited – STA Mobile, joint organizers of the event said: “the plan is for a total of 100 fans of the Super Eagles to win all –expenses paid trip to the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, in four tranches of 25 people-a-month between January and April 2018”
“The Naija 4 Russia initiative is born in due season as a feel-good factor for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, which is at its highest-ever in the recent history of Nigerian Football. For the first time in the history of football in Nigeria, we have a VAS platform for the fans and supporters of Nigerian Football by way of a shortcode.
“The deployment of this shortcode *1945# across USSD, IVR, SMS AND WEB platforms is designed to reward the teeming National Team followers and football lovers across the country with a chance to cheer our footballing heroes live in Russia as they take on the best teams from across the globe.
Seyi Akinwunmi, Chairman of the NFF Legal Committee assured the gathering that all necessary legal permits have been obtained to run the program, Dikko informed that the NFF is targeting the sum of N2 billion from corporate organizations to support the Super Eagles’ preparation and participation at the finals (while stating clearly that whatever monies remain after the competition would be used for legacy projects).
A raffle draw conducted by STA at the event to pick the first Nigerian journalist that would be sponsored to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia produced Miyen Akiri of Galaxy Television. Organizers announced that of the 25 persons that would be picked monthly for four months between January and April 2018, one would be a journalist.