IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and Media Company, has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) to develop and grow basketball in Nigeria for 20 years, including on a professional level. The agreement was signed by Bobby Sharma, IMG Senior Vice President, Global Business Development-Basketball, in Abuja on behalf of the company.
IMG’s local partnership is led by Tayo Amusan, Chairman and Managing Director of Persianas Nigeria, a luxury residential, retail, entertainment, hospitality, and commercial development company.
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 said, “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 said, “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.”