NEW YORK, NY and ABUJA, NIGERIA--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2013) - IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, along with strategic local partners, announced today it has signed an exclusive, historic agreement with the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) to develop and grow Nigerian basketball, including on a professional level, for up to 20 years. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The NBBF, an affiliated member of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), is the official governing body for the sport of basketball in Nigeria, Africa's largest country by population, and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
IMG's local partnership group is led by Tayo Amusan, one of the most prominent businessmen in Nigeria. A ground-breaking entrepreneur, Amusan is Owner, Chairman, and Managing Director of Persianas Nigeria Limited, a luxury residential, retail, entertainment, hospitality, and commercial development company. Amusan has a wealth of experience in the conception, financing, and coordination of high-profile highly-capitalized projects across Nigeria, including 'The Palms' shopping mall in Lagos, the biggest such property in the country.
NBBF President Tijjani Umar said, "Nigeria has always had the potential to be a dominant power in basketball, one of the two great global games. But we can only reap what we sow. Today we begin investing in our long term success as a basketball power, with this step in partnership with IMG, a pioneer in world sport, bringing to bear its industry-leading expertise and strategic planning to help unlock Nigeria's true long-term potential."
Nigerian Sports Minister Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi echoed President Umar's remarks. "We could not be happier to have IMG, one of the most admired and respected companies in the world, invest its time and resources in Nigeria. We share a common vision for the sport of basketball in this country, and for the country itself, primarily based on the greatest strength Nigeria has -- its people."
Bobby Sharma, IMG Senior Vice President, Global Business Development-Basketball, signed the agreement, along with Amusan, Umar, and the Minister in the Nigerian capital of Abuja. "We're excited to join with the NBBF to develop and grow basketball in the seventh largest country in the world," Sharma said. "We expect this collaboration will change the future of the sport in Nigeria, as well as this quickly growing region, which is already a hotbed of basketball avidity and talent."
Mike Dolan, IMG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "Sub-saharan Africa is one of the largest and fastest growing economic regions in the world today, led by Nigeria and its 170 million population, the largest and youngest on the continent. Nigeria is one of the great sporting nations in the world and has already produced some of the greatest athletes across a variety of sports. We believe there is an enormous appetite for basketball on the continent, and led by the economic and cultural force of Nigeria, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible."
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with 3,500 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG's areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG's Joint Ventures in India, Brazil, China and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.img.com. Follow us on Twitter:@IMG_Worldwide and Facebook: facebook.com/IMGWorldwide.