Maureen Mmadu secures foreign partner for NNWL

The legendary star set a record as the first ex-international to pull through a foreign partnership deal for the nation's league with a drink manufacturing company

Former international Maureen Mmadu has wrote her name in gold in the history of Nigeria football after securing a foreign partner for the Nigeria Nationwide League One [NNWL] with a Hungary-based drink manufacturing company, Watty.

Mmadu made 101 appearances for the country including participating at four FIFA Women's World Cups and competed in the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. The former Toppserien and Kolbotn midfielder became the first ex-international in the country's history to attract a foreign partner, ensuring a two-year partnership deal with the men's third tier league.

The deal with the NNWL includes recognition and various exciting cash prizes for player of the week, month and season as well as for the team of the month and season till 2018.

An act Mmadu described as her 'little way of giving back' to the game which saw her reach stardom through partnering the lower league to encourage grassroot talents.

The 41-year-old coach hinted that she is keen to listen to partnership bids from the women league, where she launched her football career, harping on clubs and league sponsorship marketing.

"I accepted to partner the Nigeria Nation Wide League One for the love I had for the development of grassroot football," Mmadu told Goal.

"Naturally, as the representative of  Watty, I could have made lots of sales as distributor but I just think this was a way to give back by helping grassroots talents in Nigeria.

"I remembered our women league days when we had Pepsi as sponsors and this motivated me on doing the same to bring back the lost glory. They gave us endorsement deals and many other attractive gifts.

"Sincerely, I never ignored the women league but because nobody approached me. If they approach me and come with a partnership deal, I will study it and see how we could work this out. The door of partnership is still not closed to the women league because that's close to my heart.

"We need sponsors in the women league because we have some private bodies sponsoring teams in the league but when you keep giving and not getting anything, it becomes frustrating.

"We don't have to be shy. You can't sit and wait for people to come and sponsor your team. When we move out, we can get more organisations to come and sponsor the women league.

"I'm advocating and advising that we should have sponsors. At the same time, clubs should not wait for the league body to bring sponsors before thye go out to sell their teams.

"Fifa is investing so much in women's football and bridging the gap with the men's game. We in Nigeria need to sit up and look for sponsors and put up the right organisational structure.

"As players and administrators of women's game, we must agree and share the same interest on moving the game forward. We must do more in marketing our teams it will attract organisations  who know there is something sweet in partnering football teams," she concluded.