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Globacom splashes N1b on Nigerian entertainers…

Odunlade Adekola, Di'Ja and Wizkid#

In the last one decade, Globacom, owned by Mike Adenuga, has contributed to the Nigerian entertainment scene with endorsement deals worth billions of Naira since emerging one of Nigeria’s major telecom companies. In fact, Globacom pioneered the idea of putting several movie and music stars on its payroll at the same time by engaging them through mouth-watering contracts as ambassadors. It would take a painstaking research of several weeks to come up with figures of exactly what Globacom has spent on the Nigerian entertainment setting in total. And even that would not cover the exceptional instances of sheer generosity by Mike Adenuga towards a number of older entertainers. These include a reported BMW X5 gift to Paul Play Dairo a few years ago, the decision to bankroll the entire process of Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi’s eye surgery and significant welfare packages for several others. Focusing on the business side of things, especially as regards the celebrity endorsement game in Nigeria, Globacom has once again underlined its status as the front runner with the signing up of not less than 27 ambassadors for the next one year. NET estimates indicate the total outlay the telco firm has splashed in the signing of the recent deals stands at about N1b naira.

wizkid

This is taking into account its recent endorsement and contract renewal spree spanning the areas of music, movies and comedy. It was widely reported that Globacom broke the bank with the ‘poaching’ of Starboy boss, Wizkid from rival company, MTN for instance. Wizkid, who was an MTN ambassador until sometime in June, ‘ported’ to Glo after turning down the chance to renew his deal with the South African company once he was approached by officials of Globacom. Sources in the country’s telecoms and entertainment sectors put the cost of the deal at about N120m, easily the second highest figure Glo has handed out since it first signed the Okoye twins popularly known as Psquare 5 years ago. Comedian and actor, Ayo Makun (AY); comedian Bovi, actor O.C Ukeje, Mavin acts, Koredo Bello, Reekado Banks and Di’ja as well as Odunlade Adekola and Wizkid are some of the new ambassadors the telco firm just added to its ranks.

Odunlade Adekola

The full list is made up of eight new ambassadors and 19 old ones whose contracts were renewed by Globacom. The new deals represent the biggest financial involvement by any corporate organisation in Nigeria and is surely a huge boost for the entertainment industry. Among them all, however, the signing of Wizkid, the ‘Ojuelegba’ singer is the most talked about and one which took several people by surprise. Like the case of Hafiz Oyetoro, the man popularly called Saka who ditched Etisalat for MTN in a manner that dazzled the brands and advertisement setting in the country a few years ago, many felt Wizzy had not renewed his MTN contract because he had been busy touring different parts of the world for weeks before then. That view was further informed by the fact that his popular girlfriend, Tania Omotayo has been involved in the deals for all the MTN ambassadors. The young woman works with Upfront Bookings, the firm responsible for initiating and completing the deals for MTN ambassadors. Many counted all that for something, only for the Starboy Music boss to make it known on his Instagram account on June 23, 2015 that he had ‘ported’ to Glo. Other artistes who also remain with Glo as brand ambassadors are Basketmouth, Ini Edo, Funke Akindele, Helen Paul, Ime Bishop Umoh, John Okafor (Mr. Ibu), Chiwetalu Agu and popular newscaster, Bimbo Oloyede. Apart from the generous financial package the ambassadors are bound to enjoy, the endorsement deals add some leverage to their individual careers. And as an emerging global brand, Glo offers a big platform for artistes to further promote their career through the company’s heavy marketing communication activities on local and international media. Many of them will also have the opportunity to feature in Glo’s highly popular shows such as Slide and Bounce and the Glo-CAF Awards apart from several promotional activities. In addition to this, the financial reward will also empower the artistes to enhance their career through music promotions and movie productions. With most of the deals with Nigerian entertainers sealed, Glo has moved on to Ghana, where it also had a number of entertainers including Reggie Rockstone, Van Vicker and others on its bill as at a few weeks ago. The sorting of those to be retained and added in Ghana is ongoing and is expected to be completed soon. Once done, sources say the unveiling of the ambassadors will be done in both Nigeria and Ghana. Globacom has just taken the celebrity endorsement approach it pioneered in 2003 with Sunny Ade, Lagbaja, Osita Osadebe, Oliver d’Coque, Nelly Uchendu and others after it launched operations in 2003 to a whole new level. And several musicians, Nollywood actors and comedians will surely be hoping to get a look in the next time. Although there is no official list yet from Glo, other ambassadors whose contracts are believed to have been renewed by Glo include D’Banj, Peter and Paul Okoye (Psquare), Chinedu Okoli (Flavour), Jude Abaga (MI), Wande Coal, Omawumi Megbele, Bez Idakula, Burna Boy, Ego Ogbaro, Sammie Okposo and Sani Danja.­­…

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