MTN Ethiopia signed a 6-million birr sponsorship agreement with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) on Thursday aimed at supporting the national football team, the Walias, over a period of one year, with the option to renew.
The sponsorship forms part of MTNâ€™s commitment to the development and advancement of football in Ethiopia. As part of the agreement, MTN Ethiopia will be a second-tier sponsor, and the exclusive value-added services (VAS) provider of the EFF. Some of the benefits of backing the Federation include MTN Ethiopiaâ€™s association with EFFâ€™s products, activities and services.
â€œAs MTN, we are pleased to partner with the Ethiopian Football Federation in the development of soccer in Ethiopia, which is a much-loved sport in the country,â€ Happy-Girl ButheleziÂ ,Country Manager of MTN Ethiopia, said.
â€œMTN is passionate about making a positive and meaningful contribution in the lives of our customers in all the communities we serve. Our partnership with the EFF is one of the many ways we intend to do this in Ethiopia,â€ she adds.
Ambassador Tewolde Gebru, executive member of the EFF, expressed similar enthusiasm around the newly-formed partnership.
â€œThe Ethiopian national teamâ€™s achievement in qualifying for AFCON 2013 after 31 years has helped the Ethiopian Football Federation acquire sponsorship agreements with globally renowned multinational companies for the first time in the history of Ethiopian football marketing,â€ Tewolde said.
â€œThe EFF is proud to partner with MTN, one of the prominent sponsors and supporters of football in Africa. It is a memorable moment for Ethiopians, and we are glad that MTN stands with us to celebrate the journey,â€ he said.
The partnership builds around the ongoing efforts towards strengthening diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and South Africa. The 3rd Ethiopia-South Africa Joint Ministerial Commission Meeting took place in March in Durban, South Africa, during which the countries signed bilateral agreements reinforcing cooperation in the political, economic and social sectors.
MTN, working closely with EFF, launched its engagement in Ethiopia’s football sector in December 2012 with its “Celebrate 31 on 831″ SMS campaign.Â Aimed at celebrating Ethiopia’s recent football successes, the campaign entailed an SMS contest featuring an entertaining football-related quiz. Five lucky winners of the competition received an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa.