How We Lost N400m Endorsement Deal, Onitsha City Marathon Organisers
Olusegun Sogbesan, the Director General of Onitsha Business School, organisers of Onitsha City Marathon has regretted their inability to seal a 5-year N400 million sponsorship deal.
Sogbesan told journalists in Onitsha that the deal broke down due to the state government’s lacklustre attitude towards endorsing the Marathon.
He said the State government’s approval was a precondition for willing sponsors to enter into agreement with the organisers and put down their money.
“Lack of cooperation from the previous administration affected the sponsorship of the programme.
“We lost huge amount of money, Anambra State lost that money, just one bank alone had agreed to sponsor the marathon to the tune of N400 million for a five year period.
“That would have helped to build three sports centres in the state, it would have improved the rating of the marathon itself with additional certification, added great value to the city and impacted greatly on the media community here,” he said.
Sogbesan said the maiden edition held in 2019 was a huge success in spite the challenges but noted that it could not hold in 2020 due to COVID-19.
According to him, we have not had the second edition of the Onitsha City Marathon because of the dysfunctionality in the society and the people who are in positions that would have played the right roles that could have added value to the society.
“Not that the state will sponsor it, but some of the corporate organisationsthat indicated interest to sponsor it wanted to have confirmation from the state but, that, we lost,” he said.
The renowned professor said the Onitsha City Marathon organisers had started a conversation with the new chairman of the Anambra Sports Development Commission, Patrick Onyedum.
He said the Commission Chairman shown tremendous interest in the Marathon and that negotiations were going on on how to return the marathon so that local and international long distance runners could compete for glory in the streets of Onitsha.
“We still have our certification, a visiting assessor from IAAF said Onitsha had the best marathon route in Africa, we are willing to work with the Anambra government to develop the sector,” he said.