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Manchester United Honors Nigerian Billionaire Mike Adenuga

First Bank Nigeria

michael-adenuga_forbes_2011At a luncheon held today at the Eko Hotel in Lagos in Adenuga’s honor, the club honored the Telecoms and Energy tycoon for his financial contribution and support towards the development of sports- particularly soccer.

In 2009, Adenuga, an avowed soccer fan, cemented a strategic partnership between his telecoms outfit, Globacom and Manchester United. Among other things, Globacom sponsors young, talented and upcoming African footballers to the prestigious Manchester United Soccer Schools to hone their skills. Globacom is also the official telecoms partner of the club in Africa.

At the luncheon, management of Manchester United presented Dr. Adenuga with a specially autographed Manchester United number 10 Jersey and a framed soccer boot autographed by one of Manchester United’s more popular players. Ricky Thussu, Manchester United’s Director of Relationships and Communication, described the man fondly referred to as “The Guru” in Nigerian circles as a sports patron “worthy of emulation.”

Adenuga, who was not at the luncheon, was represented by his senior managers. Adewale Sangowawa, an Executive Director of Globacom who accepted the award on behalf of Adenuga, assured Manchester United as well as other dignitaries present at the occasion that the telecoms and energy tycoon would continually support African soccer.

“One of the reasons why Globacom is partnering with a world class football club like Manchester United is to leverage on the club’s achievements and successes to develop the game of football in Nigeria and Africa. Arrangement is afoot to widen the scope of this aspect of the relationship. I can assure you that within the next couple of weeks, we shall announce some initiatives in football that will make our people proud,” Sangowawa said.

With Adenuga’s financial backing, Globacom has emerged as one of the largest supporters of African soccer. The West African telecoms giant sponsors the Glo CAF Awards and the Nigerian and Ghanaian national teams, among others. The telecoms company has paid more than $40 million in support to the Nigerian soccer team over the last ten years.

Globacom currently boasts over 20 million subscribers with operations in Nigeria and Benin Republic.

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