Nigerian gateway payment company, Flutterwave, has unveiled a new multi-year sponsorship deal with the Basketball Africa League (BAL).
The announcement was made on Monday by BAL who informed that the payment company will be joining the existing list of companies that are sponsoring the league for 2021 and beyond.
Inaugurated in February 2019, BAL is like the NBA of Africa and currently has about 12 teams to kickstart its first season scheduled for this year.
The league was initially scheduled to start in March 2020, however, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the league’s first-ever season commencing fully on May 16, its partnership with Flutterwave marks another early win for BAL.
Currently, BAL boasts about 9 major sponsors alongside Flutterwave; they include Nike, Air Jordan, New Fortress Energy, Hennesy, Rwanda Air, Pepsi, Wilson, and the French Development Agency (AFD).
Unlike other brands which are headquartered outside of Africa, Flutterwave and Rwanda Air are the only sponsors of African origin.
This further suggests that only Nigeria and Rwanda have companies sponsoring the events, where there are participants from 32 African countries in the qualifying tournament.
Also, Flutterwave happens to be the only fintech company or even so, only software technology company sponsoring the league as of the time of this publication.
As for participating team, the league’s first season has in attendance champions from the national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia, all of which earned their participation in the inaugural season.
However, the remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Regional Office Africa across the continent in late 2019.
Comments from partners
Excited about its latest sponsorship deal, the Chief Commercial Officer of Flutterwave, Ifeoluwa Orioke, said, “As a lifelong basketball fan, I am excited that we are able to team up with the BAL as it tips off its inaugural season.”
Similarly, on the receiving end, BAL’s president, Amadou Gallo did not hold back to acknowledge the impact of the partnership.
‘Technology plays an important role in basketball and our ability to make our content and products accessible and convenient for fans to consume,” Amadou stated.
He added that the partnership also reflects BAL’s ambition to play a role in the industries that will shape Africa’s economic growth, facilitate entrepreneurship and strengthen the continent’s position on the global stage.
About Basketball Africa League
The Basketball Africa League is Africa’s premier men’s basketball league. The league consists of twelve teams, each qualified through their domestic competition, similar to the format of the UEFA Champions League.
Also, the league primarily consists of two divisional leagues, where participants compete to stay at the top league or perhaps to get promoted from the lower league.
The inaugural BAL season tipped off on Sunday at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, with 12 teams from across Africa competing in the new professional league. The first BAL Finals will be held Sunday, May 30.