As the 2019 edition of the Higher Institutions Football League, enters the round of 16, PACE Sports has recently secured a partnership deal with LaLiga, in its quest to position the league as a global brand. LaLiga is the organizing body for the top two divisions of Spanish football.
The partnership will see LaLiga provide operational support to the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL), organised by PACE sports and Entertainment Marketing in partnership with the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA).
Concerning the partnership, Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Sola Fijabi said the partnership with LaLiga is one of the many steps taken by the HIFL organizers to position the brand for growth and development, amidst international recognition.
“We believe LaLiga has the potentials to provide the needed operational support for HIFL. This is a very timely and important development for collegiate football in Nigeria. A strategic alliance with LaLiga, one of the best leagues in the world, is definitely a good step towards the growth and development of HiFL and grassroots football. The partnership is coming at a very important period in the 2019 season, where amazing talents are emerging every week.”
“We have doubled the numbers this year in terms of school participation, and the excitement has doubled too, in line with our promise to make the season bigger, bolder and better. A number of our talents from last year have been signed on to play for professional league sides and we are confident that many more will get national and international call ups in no distant time. The partnership with LaLiga is the level of collaboration that we need to grow HIFL in Nigeria, amidst the potential exposure of players in the league who might want to continue as professional footballers. The Spanish league has a huge followership in Nigeria. Therefore, we hope to tap into such goodwill for the development of HIFL.” Fijabi said.
According to the LaLiga Delegate in Nigeria, Guillermo Perez Castello, LaLiga is enthusiastic above the potentials of HIFL becoming a global collegiate sports brand while developing grassroots football in Nigeria. “In LaLiga, we have a firm commitment to support the development of grassroots football not just in Spain but across the world. Nigeria is an important region for us, and we will keep on looking for ways to spread the LaLiga global methodology in this region, as evidenced by agreements just like this one. A partnership that we are sure will bring great benefits to both parties”.
“HiFL is a league that aligns with our desire to positively impact the youth, whilst enriching them with the required platform to harness their wealth of potentials. Through this partnership with HiFL, we will be able to bring the best league in the world closer to our Nigerian fans and all the young football talents in this country”, Castello added.
Established in 2018 by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing alongside the Nigerian University Games Association, the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) is an annual football competition for higher institutions in Nigeria. The League is open to all member universities of the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA).
It would be recalled that UAM Tillers from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi won the maiden edition of the league after defeating the UNICAL Malabites from the University of Calabar 5-4 on penalties at the finals of the 2018 edition played at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. With a format boasting 32 varsity teams in the 2019 season from 16 last year, the HiFL Super Four scheduled for Lagos in October will further entrench itself as the pinnacle of collegiate football in the country.